Now that the Buffalo Bills have declined to match his offer sheet, and Mike Gillislee has officially signed with the Patriots it seems like a virtual certainty that the LeGarrette Blount’s days in Foxboro have come to an end. So in that way, it’s a sad day for Patriots fans. A guy who came to Foxoboro and did his job is going to be leaving us.
Blount rebuilt his reputation after an ugly incident in college by being nothing but a great team guy. And if you can watch his embrace with Galynn Brady in the aftermath of the Super Bowl, then you officially have no soul.
— Adam London (@ALondon5) February 9, 2017
He was a very effective running back for the Pats. He was a hammer that the team used in short yardage, and to wear down defenses. He’s got two Super Bowl rings, and the team record for rushing touchdowns. It’s a pretty safe bet that you’re going to see LeGarrette at a lot of reunions in the future.
LeGarrette Blount’s Future, and the 2018 Patriots Draft
So now that the Patriots backfield appears to be settled – the best situation for them in regards to Blount is for him to cash in elsewhere. The more money he gets, the better the resulting compensatory draft pick will be for the Patriots.
The NFL’s compensatory system for lost unrestricted free agents is a complicated. But basically, the league hands out 32 compensatory picks a year. You gain picks based on the value of free agents you’ve lost, vs. the ones you sign – and they cancel out one-to-one. Picks are based on the average yearly value of the contract the player signed. You get the picks in the next offseason, so this year’s free agents lead to next year’s compensatory picks.
So the Patriots signed Stephon Gilmore… but lost Logan Ryan. They each were valued as 3rd rounders, so they cancel out. The Patriots signed Lawrence Guy and Rex Burkhead – and lost Barkevious Mingo and Chris Long. That pair cancels out.
But since they’ve signed no other unrestricted free agents, they’ll get compensatory picks for Jabaal Sheard (likely a 4th rounder), and Martellus Bennett (likely a 5th).
This means that if Blount can sign elsewhere, the Patriots will get a compensation pick. If he signs for less than $2.5 million, then his signing would cancel out Guy’s, and the Patriots would get a 7th rounder in compensation for losing Mingo. If he can get $3 million, that would mean a 6th rounder for the Patriots. A 5th round pick would mean he’d need to get over $5 million a year, and that seems extremely unlikely.
You can see the full chart at OvertheCap.com