Now, that's a Band-Aid.
The Eagles agreed to terms on a one-year deal with free-agent running back LeGarrette Blount on Wednesday morning. Shortly thereafter, jubilant shouts of glee were heard coming from the area of Carson Wentz's locker.
Eagles general manager Howie Roseman entered the offseason dithering about the team's recent habit of signing marginal players to deals. He called those sorts of players "Band-Aids." Blount, like receiver Alshon Jeffery, is a Band-Aid; just a better brand of Band-Aid. Blount, for instance, is a Band-Aid who led the NFL in rushing touchdowns last season.
Terms were not immediately available, but only one term matters: protection. Blount's presence protects Wentz the way Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles & Co. never could last season.
In his second full season with the Patriots after being reacquired from Pittsburgh, Blount ran the ball 299 times for 1,116 yards and 18 touchdowns, best in the NFL in 2016. That's Blount, as in 6-1, 245-pound blunt instrument: Of those 18, 13 came from the 5-yard line or closer.
Eagles running backs combined for 14 TDs in 2016.
Blount added another TD in the 2016 playoffs, his eighth postseason TD in eight postseason games since first being traded to New England in 2013. He has won two Super Bowls.
Last year, he played in all 16 games for the third time in four seasons.
"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," Roseman said in a statement.
Blount's mere presence means Wentz is less of a target. Rest assured, Doug Pederson will still use Wentz on the occasional quarterback sneak. Rest assured, Pederson will still call passing plays from inside the 10.
However, with Blount on the field, play-action in the red zone takes on real meaning. It means less danger of a blitz being called or working. It translates to more time for every play to develop. Freeze a linebacker and a safety for even half a step, it will open things up for big red-zone weapons such as tight end Zach Ertz and receivers Jordan Matthews and Jeffery. When the field is short, half a step is huge.
Paired with dynamic third-down back Sproles, Blount gives the Eagles a real thunder-and-lightning running game. There wasn't much thunder in Philadelphia last season.
Blount is 30, true, but this is a one-year deal, not a lifetime commitment. The Eagles and Blount reportedly had been talking since free agency began in March, but both sides clearly waited until the dust settled after the draft and teams' subsequent rookie camps to determine Blount's value.
Blount's arrival will speed the departure of Ryan Mathews, who will cost $1million against the cap to cut or to trade. A fragile back, Mathews, 30, scored 14 touchdowns in two seasons but gained only 1,200 yards and, plagued by injuries, played in 26 of 32 games, often at less than 100 percent. He cost the team $7million. He was a good value.
Blount, the latest addition to the Band-Aid brigade, should be better.