By Eric Schmidt

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers traded troubled cornerback Aqib Talib to the New England Patriots at the NFL trade deadline last season. The two teams consummated another deal on Saturday as the Buccaneers shipped RB LeGarrette Blount to the Patriots in exchange for Jeff Demps and a seventh round selection. The question has to be what value is Blount to the Patriots?

Blount became expendable to the Buccaneers with the emergence of rookie running back Doug Martin. As Martin continued to tear it up on the field, Blount struggled for carries, finishing the season with just 41 touches. In the last two months of the regular season, he accounted for just eight carries.

In the Patriots offense, running backs generally have to be able to perform various roles. Their backs generally have to be good pass catchers as well as being able to pass protect. Blount does not excel at either of these tasks and that is most likely the reason he was shown the door in Tampa.

Blount is a power runner and it’s quite possible that his role will simply be short yardage and goal line duty for New England. The Oregon product was an undrafted free agent and was originally selected by the Tennessee Titans after the 2010 Draft but was eventually claimed by the Buccaneers. Shortly after the start of the 2010 regular season, Blount became the starting running back for Tampa Bay and went on to rush for 1,007 yards and six scores.

Minutes after the trade was announced, the Buccaneers executed a trade with the Minnesota Vikings and moved up in the sixth-round in order to draft RB Mike James form the University of Miami. Head coach Greg Schiano quickly compared James to former Buccaneers running back Earnest Graham due to his versatility and work ethic.

 

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