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LeGarrette Blount, Giants have “mutual interest,” per report

Veteran would give Big Blue power back they don’t have

New York Jets v New England Patriots
LeGarrette Blount
Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images

Could veteran running back LeGarrette Blount be a member of the New York Giants before the 2017 NFL Draft opens for business on Thursday night? Ian Rapoport of NFL Network is reporting that there is “mutual interest” between Blount and the Giants, and that there could be “a potential match before the draft.”

With Adrian Peterson joining the New Orleans Saints, Blount is the remaining veteran power running back on the free-agent market. The expectation had been that the 30-year-old Blount would re-sign with the New England Patriots. That, however, seems unlikely to happen now that the Patriots have signed Mike Gillislee away from the Buffalo Bills.

ESPN is reporting that there is “nothing imminent at the moment” between Blount and the Giants. Still, this bears watching.

Why it would make sense

Since the Giants parted ways with Rashad Jennings, the expectation has been that the Giants would try to add a power running back to complement second-year man Paul Perkins.

Blount, 6’1”, 245 pounds, certainly fits that description. The seven-year veteran had the best, and busiest, season of his career in 2016. He carried the ball 299 times (second-most in the league) for 1,161 yards and a league-leading 18 touchdowns. He averaged 3.9 yards per carry.

The Giants have historically shied away from the over-30 crowd in free agency, and Blount will turn 31 in December. Still, with a 36-year-old Eli Manning the Giants did add 33-year-old wide receiver Brandon Marshall in free agency. They appear to be trying to give Manning as much short-term help as they can to maximize his remaining time.

Blount would give them a power back who could help in short yardage and in the red zone.

What about the draft?

Yes, the draft is said to be deep at running back. The Giants could find a power back in the middle to late rounds of the draft, but there is no guarantee that would happen or that the drafted player would be successful. Even if they sign Blount, I would think drafting a running back at some point would still be a possibility. The draft, after all, is about the long term not just the upcoming season.

Your thoughts, Giants fans? Would you like to see the Giants sign Blount?