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Saturday open thread: Grade the Detroit Lions’ signing of LeGarrette Blount

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What are your thoughts on the Lions’ addition of the veteran running back?

Super Bowl LII - Philadelphia Eagles v New England Patriots Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions have yet to really score themselves a “splash” offseason signing, and there’s a pretty good chance, at this point, they won’t make one. They have made it abundantly clear that they’re more comfortable spending moderate amounts of money on second and third tier guys than a ton of money on the top names in free agency.

But on Friday night, the Lions made a pretty significant move. After a week filled with running back meeting after running back meeting, Detroit finally made their move. The Lions announced that they have signed former Patriots back LeGarrette Blount to a deal reportedly worth up to $4.5 million for one year (base salary of $2 million with $2.5 million in incentives.)

So today’s Question of the Day is:

What grade do you give the LeGarrette Blount signing?

My answer: I give it a solid B. Of all the backs the Lions brought in over the past week, I preferred Detroit to sign Frank Gore the most. Though he was by far the oldest of the backs, I felt like he provided both the most versatility and the best example for a potential rookie back, should Detroit draft one, as they’re expected to do.

That being said, Blount is pretty much the only back brought in that had a successful 2017 season. There’s no real sign that he has hit that wall that every back eventually does in their 30s. In fact, 2017 was one of Blount’s more statistically successful seasons. In seven seasons, Blount has only rushed for under 4.0 yards per carry twice: once in 2016 with the Patriots (3.9), and once in 2012 with the Bucs, when he only had 41 total carries on the year.

More importantly, Blount fills a long-time need for the Lions as a bruiser back. Detroit converted on third and fourth-and-short situations just 45 percent of the time in 2017—good for dead last in the NFL. Blount should immediately help the Lions in those situations, while also being fully capable of carrying the rock 5-15 times a game.

As for his value, the Lions gave Blount a minor raise from his past few contracts. Last year, his base salary was just $900,000, but with $1.5 million worth of incentives built in. This year, he basically got double that:

It’s a significant raise for Blount, but it shouldn’t be all that tough to swallow for Detroit.

Overall, it’s a solid, yet unspectacular signing from Detroit, worthy of some excitement, but at the same time tempered expectations.

Your turn


What grade do you give the Lions’ signing of LeGarrette Blount?

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