By Alex Barth, 985TheSportsHub.com
Former Patriots running back and three-time Super Bowl champion LeGarrette Blount officially retired from the NFL on Saturday. Posted to his Instagram, the announcement comes on his 34th birthday.
Blount included in the caption of his post:
“Bill [Belichick] and RK [Robert Kraft], I can’t thank y’all enough! New England, I love you! PatsNation, I love you! 2 Super Bowl rings and a chance to play with the coldest QB to ever play the game in TB! I made the best of friends, a lot turned into family, and many doors were opened for me. Thank y’all so much!!”
Blount spent his nine NFL seasons with the Buccaneers, Patriots, Steelers, Eagles, and Lions.
His career got off to a rocky start before even reaching the NFL. In the first game of his senior year at Oregon, he was involved in a postgame altercation that resulted in him punching Boise State linebacker Byron Hout in the face. Blount was suspended for two months following the incident.
As a result of what happened against Boise State, and his lack of tape and playing time his senior year, Blount went undrafted in 2010. He signed with the Titans as a UDFA. Released as a part of final roster cuts, he was claimed off waivers by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. As a rookie with the Bucs, he ran for 1,007 yards and six touchdowns in 13 games.
After spending his first three pro seasons in Tampa, Blount was traded to the Patriots in April of 2013 (in exchange for a seventh-round pick and running back/kick returner/Olympic sprinter Jeff Demps). His first stint in New England lasted a year, and saw Blount platoon with Stevan Ridley. He ran for 772 yards and seven touchdowns in the regular season. In a memorable Divisional Round performance, he gashed the Colts for 166 yards and four touchdowns at Gillette Stadium.
The next offseason, he signed a two-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers to serve as a power option opposite Le’Veon Bell. A frustration due to lack of playing time led to his release after 11 games, and he ended up back in New England, where he’d go on to win two Super Bowls in three years.
His final season with the Patriots, 2016, was the best of his career. He accumulated a career-high 1,161 rushing yards, and scored 18 rushing touchdowns – a Patriots franchise record.
He finished his career with stops in Philadelphia (where he won his third Super Bowl ring, beating the Patriots) and Detroit. Blount was not on an NFL roster at any point in 2019.
In total, Blount racked up 6,306 career rushing yards, while averaging 4.2 yards per carry. He found the end zone 58 times, with 56 of those coming on the ground. A strong postseason performer, his 11 playoff touchdowns are tied for seventh-most in NFL history, and his four-touchdown performance against the Colts is the second-most ever in a single playoff game. He also advanced well past the note he entered the league on, becoming both a fan and teammate favorite in just about every city he played.
Canton may be just out of his reach, but could a red jacket be in Blount’s future? He’d certainly be a fitting addition to the Patriots Hall of Fame.
Check out the latest Pats Pod below for an early look at the 2021 offseason, and quarterbacks in particular.
Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at Alexander.Barth@bbgi.com.