LeGarrette Blount a Long Shot to Make Patriots Roster

Mike DussaultSenior Analyst IApril 27, 2013

TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 14:  Running back LeGarrette Blount #27 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrates in the end zone after running  11 yards for a touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs October 14, 2012 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.  Tampa won 38 - 10. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

The Patriots acquired running back LaGarrette Blount from the Buccaneers for Jeff Demps and a seventh-round pick, in a move that saw two teams swapping two players neither wanted anymore.

Demps came to the Patriots in the middle of training camp in 2012, just off winning a silver medal in the Olympic games. Demps had been a mid-round draft prospect after his career at Florida, but his world-class speed and special teams ability were intriguing.

After flashing his talent against the Buccaneers on a few carries, he was stashed away on injured reserve in a move ProFootballTalk called going from "fine to IR in 24-hours." There was no doubt Demps needed time to get back into football shape and add some weight to deal with the pounding of the NFL, but he likely wouldn't have made it through waivers. Hence, a phantom injury to give him a redshirt year.

Earlier this offseason, when Demps let the Patriots know he wanted to continue his track career, it was only matter of time before they dumped him.

Now, LeGarrette Blount comes to town, straight from Greg Schiano's doghouse. If Blount struggled under hard-coaching Schiano, how's he going to do under Bill Belichick? We'll see.

It's really a risk-free move for both teams, since both players would've likely been cut in coming weeks.

The Patriots' backfield is well-stocked with Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen, Brandon Bolden and Leon Washington. If there is a role for Blount to grab, it would be Brandon Bolden's spot as the short yardage and power back.

Bolden put up 137 yards and a touchdown on the Bills in Week 4, but he was suspended for violating the league's substance-abuse policy for four games. When he returned, he touched the ball just 11 times in four games and not at all in the playoffs.

If he builds on the potential he flashed early in the season, Bolden could realistically compete with Stevan Ridley for the lead back duties. Barring another off-field setback he should come to camp hungry, so Blount will have his work cut out for him.

There's no question Blount flashed some talent in 2010, when he put up over 1,000 yards, but it's been a steady decline since then and he'll need to re-find that earlier magic to have any chance of beating out Bolden.

He'll get every chance to win a job, but there's likely just too much young talent ahead of LeGarrette Blount to make the Patriots squad.