The Eagles clarified their muddled backfield situation Wednesday with their signing of LeGarrette Blount.
Ryan Mathews’ days in Philadelphia appear to be numbered with this move. Mathews led the Eagles with 661 rushing yards last year, but he’s played just one 16-game season in his career. That came in 2013 with the Chargers when he ran for 1,255 yards, his only 1,000-yard season. Mathews’ season ended in Week 16 last year with a neck injury.
Blount has appeared in 16 games in three of the last four seasons, rushing for 1,161 yards and a league-leading 18 touchdowns last year for the Patriots as he collected his second Super Bowl ring. The Eagles now have a bruising workhorse to go with Darren Sproles and Donnel Pumphery. The 5’8″, 176-pound Pumphrey was a fourth-round pick in the 2017 draft and figures to succeed Sproles as a speedy, multi-use weapon.
Wendell Smallwood will be entering his second year after running for 312 yards in his rookie season.
Signing Blount is the kind of bold move the Eagles have to make to compete in the NFC East. The Cowboys are the king of the hill. The Giants are going all out to win now before Eli Manning retires. The Redskins have a quarterback who’s always in a contract year.
This also strengthens the offense around Carson Wentz as he tries to prove he’s not a one-year — or even a three-week — wonder.