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March 9, 2013 @ 12:15 pm
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Tampa Bay Re-signs RB Blount With A 1-Year Deal

Written by Scott
Scott Reynolds


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The Bucs re-signed backup running back LeGarrette Blount to a one-year deal worth $1.25 million. Despite Blount's lack of production in 2012, the move provides the Bucs with depth at the running back position behind Doug Martin.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have re-signed running back LeGarrette Blount with a one-year deal worth $1.25 million. Per a post on Twitter from Blount's former agent Joel Curry, the fourth-year running back also has a $350,000 reporting bonus and a $150,000 workout bonus included in his contract.

The Bucs did not tender Blount a restricted free agent contract offer. Instead, the team decided to just sign him to a one-year deal without a tender offer. 

Bringing Blount back was a curious move considering how little he was used in 2012, which was his worst year production-wise in the NFL. Still, Bucs general manager Mark Dominik, who shrewdly signed Blount off the waiver wire prior to the start of the 2010 NFL regular season, sees value in the bruising runner and doesn't want him to simply walk away.

That's why Blount was not tendered with an original round restricted free agent offer. His $1.25 million contract also saves the team money from a restricted free agent first- or second-round tender offer.

After rushing for a team-high 1,007 yards and six touchdowns on 201 carries (5.0 avg.) as a rookie, the 6-foot, 247-pound running back's output slipped in 2011 where he rushed for 781 yards and five TDs on 184 carries (4.2 avg.). Blount fumbled the ball seven times in his first two years with the Bucs, and that prompted the team to draft Doug Martin in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft.

While Martin made an instant impact as a rookie, rushing for a rookie record 1,454 yards and a franchise-record 11 touchdowns on 319 carries en route to making the Pro Bowl, Blount was seldom used in 2012, especially down the stretch. Blount finished his third NFL season with only 41 carries for 151 yards (3.7 avg.) and two touchdowns.

His best game came in Tampa Bay's 38-10 victory over Kansas City in which he carried the ball seven times for 58 yards (8.3 avg.), including a 35-yard touchdown run. However, over the next two weeks, Blount was far less successful, totaling 13 carries for 14 yards against Minnesota and New Orleans. During the final eight games of the season, Blount only carried the ball six times for 30 yards.

The general feeling is that Blount is not an ideal fit in Mike Sullivan's offense, and the team remains concerned with his ability to be effective in the passing game, which limits his opportunities. In the past, Blount has struggled with pass protection assignments and had only one reception for two yards in 2012.

With Martin clearly establishing himself as the team's feature back, Blount wanting to re-sign with the team and take a relegated role with less production heading into unrestricted free agency is surprising. But as a restricted free agent, Blount's options were limited, and the Buccaneers can still trade him prior to the draft for a 2013 NFL Draft pick, or prior to Week 6 in the regular season for a 2014 NFL Draft selection.

Re-signing Blount means the Buccaneers will not likely address the running back position in free agency or with a premium pick the 2013 NFL Draft as the roster appears stocked with Martin, Blount, D.J. Ware and Michael Smith, a 2012 seventh-round selection.

Last modified on Saturday, 09 March 2013 12:36

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  • avatar

    Why haven't they tendered Cutrera? That seems like a no-brainer.
  • avatar

    I'd say resign him for one yr was a no brainer-He could turn into the big fullback that Tampa needs-GO BUCS
  • avatar

    I like LGB more than most and am glad to have him back. That said, I am a bit surprised at the contract. We got him back for the lowest tender last season and he barely saw the field, so I would have been surprised to lose him for the same tender this time around. I guess it's only a marginally higher cost than that tender, though, so if the team really wanted him back, then it's not a bad move. Trading him for anything more than a 6th rounder would be a win in my book, although I think he's worth more than that to us. Using him as ammo with a draft pick to acquire Revis or a higher draft slot seems unlikely considering how infrequently players are used in trades for other players or draft slot improvement.
  • avatar

    Tebow? He was accurate on ONE pass. Good grief! Why must we always think there is some conspiracy in play? Can't Dominik just have re-signed Blount to develop his pass catching and pass protecting skills they way the team did with Cadillac Williams? The criticism of Blount is a "conspiracy" by the media.
  • avatar

    We badly need Reavis, but I think our first round draft choice and Blount would be losing too much. Should Martin go down, what a luxury to have Blount, another thousand yard rusher, to save our season. There is no guarantee Reavis will be free of injury this year or that he will be able to play at the level he did in the past. Pay Reavis the money as a free agent that has incentives for performance. Still get another free agent CB, and draft two more. In addition we need a DL that can stop the run as well as collapse the pocket and get after the QB. If you really want to push Free, how about picking up Tebo? The QB who can run as well as pass is the future of the NFL. If you watched Tebo defeat the Steelers in the playoffs, he was very accurate on his long passes (and he took a losing Broncos team to seven wins and then carried them further in the playoffs than Peyton Manning did this year.) Let him relieve Free when Free is inaccurate and not looking off his receivers, and to run the wildcat with the Bucs, and on short yardage QB sneaks.
  • avatar

    Steeler's won't give up that much for Blount it won't be cool if they did.
  • avatar

    Whether we trade him or keep him on the roster, I think this is a positive move for the Bucs. After all this guy is a 1,000 yard rusher, plus he's a lot of fun to watch. I do hope his pass protection blocking has improved. He's no bargain if he gets our QB hurt.
  • avatar

    My thoughts exactly @kinderrt. By not offering him a restricted contract, this move screams of the Bucs trying to move Blount before FA opens. Bucs want to hold onto their picks, and with Revis likely costing more than just the first rounder, throwing Blount in there too equates to a mid round pick in addition to the first. The Jets need all the RBs they can find.
  • avatar

    A great trade would be our 1st RD and Blount for Revis. We get maybe the best CB in the NFL and they get a starting RB that they need CHEAP!
  • avatar

    I see Blount in a trade deal before or during the draft. The Steelers is a perfect place for Blount and maybe the intentions are to use Blount, plus a 4th round pick to move back into the 1st or 2nd round with the Steelers?
  • avatar

    I like the move. My biggest gripe with the way this team is set up is we have so few players with special abilities relative to other teams in the league. That's where 7-9 seasons come from. Blount's ability to quickly decide whether to run someone over or huddle someone if he gets a hole is unique. I think he learned to block, catch and hold on to the football better last season. However, since he can't run outside and has poor vision I think his role is best as a backup. But what a backup to have!
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