Cue sounds of rejoicing throughout the land.
The Eagles moved to fill what a vocal segment of their fanbase considered a gaping hole Wednesday, agreeing to terms with 6-foot-1, 245-pound power back LeGarrette Blount on a one-year contract. When he signs, the Eagles will have to release a player, something they haven’t done yet.
Blount, 30, has that goal-line presence the Birds so desperately lack – his 299 carries for 1,161 yards last season with Super Bowl champion New England included 18 rushing touchdowns. Yes, 18. Rushing touchdowns. Highest NFL total since Adrian Peterson's 18 in 2009.
The Eagles, as a team, scored 16 rushing touchdowns last season.
New England placed an unrestricted free-agent tender on Blount, apparently a maneuver to recoup a compensatory pick when he signed elsewhere. The tender also means Blount counts against compensatory picks that the team signing him might get; it was thought this might keep him from being signed by anyone other than the Pats. But, no.
Blount is easily the most accomplished back in a young, unheralded group for the Eagles. His acquisition will increase speculation that fourth-round draftee Donnel Pumphrey might be used mainly as a passing weapon from the slot in Doug Pederson’s offense. The Eagles are still expected to release Ryan Mathews when he is cleared after recovering from neck disk surgery.
Blount, who played for former Eagles coach Chip Kelly at Oregon, is another high-profile weapon for Carson Wentz. This has been the major theme of the Eagles' offseason, giving the second-year quarterback some real firepower to work with. Blount isn't likely to be here in two or three years when the Eagles hope to be top-tier Super Bowl contenders, but he nudges the needle a little closer to contending for a postseason berth in 2017.
"LeGarrette Blount is a tough, physical runner who has enjoyed a great deal of success in New England and we are excited about adding him to this football team," de facto general manager Howie Roseman said in a statement released by the team. "We feel good about the depth and competition that we have created at the running back position and we are looking forward to getting the guys out on the field next week for OTAs."
The Eagles will start full-team OTAs on Tuesday.