Steelers essentially rewarded Blount for quitting on team

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Six days ago, running back LeGarrette Blount was preparing to face the Titans as a member of the Steelers.  Now, he’s preparing to face the Lions as a member of the Patriots.

The transition happened after Blount quit on the Steelers, was cut by the Steelers, passed through waivers unclaimed, and made a beeline for the Patriots.

Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette takes a great look at what transpired.  While there’s no evidence to suggest that Blount did what he did to engineer a return to the Patriots, the Steelers made it easy by giving Blount exactly what he apparently wanted.

Why not suspend him for a week or two without pay?  Why not deactivate him for a few weeks?  By cutting him, the Steelers gave Blount a chance to land with the team that currently has the inside track to do what it failed to do when he was a member of the Patriots in 2013 — get to the Super Bowl.

Whether it’s the Steelers cutting Blount or the Browns cutting Ben Tate, teams that abruptly dump unhappy players set a potentially dangerous precedent.  Other players who want out down the road may now try the same maneuver, which apparently requires something far less intricate than shirtless driveway situps.

At some point, a team needs to make it harder for a guy to get away to a preferred destination.  For the Steelers, they probably should have made it harder for Blount to get back to New England.

78 responses to “Steelers essentially rewarded Blount for quitting on team

  1. I agree with the Steelers … It should onward and upward. Who cares what Blount does in his career from the point they Cut him. He was a lackluster performing, Team Cancer! Cut your ties and and move on. Also, for you armchair GM’s this does give an opportunity for another player to be on the 53 and get a chance to shine. Just look at Jonas Gray for example. Blount is not that good, he knows the Patriots system and it was a good signing for depth. This is just another so many NFL Fans will pull for ANY team playing the Patriots.

  2. I’m glad you posted this story in the correct light. Bouchette tries to absolve the Steelers of any blame (surprising I know), and hint at a conspiracy between the Patriots and Blount. The Patriots were nothing more than the beneficiaries (hopefully) of the Steelers’ mismanagement of the situation. This idea that the Patriots somehow engineered the whole thing is disingenuous and borderline paranoid. So many things had to occur for the Patriots to be in a position to sign Blount that they had absolutely no control over.

  3. Still makes no sense to me.

    Blount allegedly commits one of the great football sins, and Belichick signs him the same week?

    I’m still trying to figure this one out.

  4. It turned out to be a good move for Blount. In Pittsburgh his role would have been severely limited by Bell’s emergence. In New England with paper thin depth at RB, he could be a major player.
    .

  5. He didn’t want to go to New England. Every other team had an opportunity to sign him. No one did. Not every player will try this. The player could land on a worse team. If any one tries this as a method, he is really stupid

  6. You can’t really call a major salary cut a reward. He signed for the minimum in NE after making much more than that in Pittsburgh. He knows he’s lucky just to have a job.

  7. Not sure about paid less. Because he cleared waivers and is a veteran, Steelers still must pay him the remainder of his salary for this season and the Patriots are paying him what I assume is a minimum vet deal. So really a win-win-win for Sucker Punch.

  8. Do you honestly think the Steelers didn’t consider the likelihood of someone like the Patriots signing Blount? Of course they did. The bottom line is that they got rid of him for the good of the Steelers. What happens to him afterward is a much less important concern.

  9. So do you put team cohesion in peril in order to spite a bad egg?

    Every action you take has good points and bad points. You just have to make sure the good outweighs the bad.

    Whether this was a conspiracy between Blount and the Patriots, he did it on his own, he got an “easy out” in to a situation he wanted to be in. It’s all immaterial.

    Belichick grabbed him because his RB corps is thin. I’m sure he’ll do something about that in the offseason, and then Blount will be sent packing again. Trouble is, there will be nowhere to go.

    Steeler players didn’t seem very heartbroken about his departure.

  10. Belichick is just using him like all his late season signings.
    He just interrogates players about other teams systems, plays and signals before canning them again.
    Blount won’t be there long.

  11. People: Blunt wasn’t getting any work with Bell getting everything, I’m not excusing his actions but NE was smart on picking him back up, he knows the team, the locker room, the system, and NE only has Vereen and Gray and having a 3rd option (when needed) is smart on NE’s part. Plus now Blunt can share any good secrets or plays that he knows if they meet in the playoffs. Belichick and his team are smart, they see something sitting there and they grab it. Opportunity calls for both Blunt and NE…and Pittsburgh has no real back-up RB in case Bell goes down…

  12. If the situation had been reversed and Blount had made himself unattractive to the Patriots, would the Steelers have signed him? Oh, right.

    The Patriots are no different from the Steelers and neither of them is different from any other team. Every team looks at whether a player will help them regardless of prior history (almost without exception like Rice). Fans always elevate the supposed superior principles of their home team and convince themselves other teams are less principled.

    Pitt was right to cut him and not have him taking up a roster space while possibly affecting team attitude. NE was right to sign him if they think he can help this year. And if he plays reasonably well the remainder of this year he will doubtless have a job next year with someone. Although under the circumstances no one would expect him to return to Pittsburgh, the name Plaxico Burress comes to mind.

  13. This “strategy” only works if the players pay is so far out of balance with their pay that they are confident they will clear waivers. Otherwise, they run the risk of playing for the Raiders. If that is true, it also means they are going to take a pay cut to get to their dream team. That seems like a rare enough situation that I’d be willing to risk it to get rid of a distraction.

  14. Yeah, ceh… as a Steeler fan I can only speak for myself, but I was far from broken up when I heard of Blount’s relocation to the curb. It also helps to have one of, if not THE, best in the game at the position.

  15. I don’t think the Steelers were wrong to release him. He’s a back up who didn’t have a good attitude. Why have someone on the roster that could ruin the locker room?

  16. I’m sure his attitude would’ve improved after they suspended him without pay for a few weeks. Why kind of idiot comes up with that idea? Bad guys are a cancer, cancer spreads and can take your entire team down. It’s best to cut your losses and move on. The Steelers in the end are a better team for it.

  17. Big deal, the Steelers are used to their fans quitting on them all the time, and they still reward them. Why treat a player any differently?

  18. I love Belichick and he is a football genius no question, but anyone suggesting he somehow engineered this is crossing the line into coocoo for cocoa puffs land.

  19. The team actually listened to the coach who listened to the players in the locker room and eradicated a cancer. They did it right. Give praise where it’s due.

  20. belicheat is no genius. his previous super bowl losses and failures tells you that. only time they won is when they cheated and videotaped walk through’s….# cheatedsuperbowlwins

  21. Disagree the Pats were thin at running back.

    Bolden can run just fine, Vereen is scat back (and also a wideout), Gray is there, Develin is the blocker, and the draft choice White can’t even get on the field.

    Picking up Blount seems more luxury than need.

    Ideally, a rotation by series of Blount and Gray will hammer the opposition and break defenses down by the 4th quarter. I’m curious to see how Bill plays this out.

  22. This move was not engineered by the Patriots or Blount. Blount was added for depth and insurance. Gray had 38 carries against the Colts. That happened for two reasons. Indy is easy to run on, especially when the stubborn coaching staff believes it’s more important to shut down Julian Edelman than an entire running game. The second is depth. Maybe 10 carries would have gone to Blount. The Patriots are all in this year and going into the playoffs shorthanded is not an option. The steelers didn’t want a distraction. Hard to blame them. They also did the right thing.

  23. I wish the pats played in the afc north instead of that soft afc east. they would see what smashmouth football was all about. easy to compile wins playing against weak teams like dolphins, jets and bills for all them years. come to the afcn and play some real football. then we will see how good you really are!

  24. That’s a pretty big gamble to take if you ask me. I mean, he has to clear waivers before anything. He risks being claimed by any team in the Nfl. Personally I agree with the Steelers in cutting him. A team cancer will kill a team, especially a young one. I am not paying any money or attention to anyone who Dsnt want to be part of the solution.

  25. Worst GM in football is Dave Gettleman, Carolina Panthers…no contest for anyone else. Blunt just wanted to take his “blunts” elsewhere. This guy will be cut by the Patriots again and will probably be out of football next year. He is talented but he is also a “problem child” Lord Hoodie will cut him if he does not produce.

  26. I agree with Bouchette 100%. There should have been disciplinary action for what Blount did. Suspension without pay for a month at the least, and maybe the NFL should throw in a hefty fine on top of that. I’m really surprised there isn’t a league policy for the kind of behavior that Blount displayed.

  27. 55 -21 be careful what you wish for bigben since the Steelers have played the Patriots 10 times since 2000 and won 3 times, one of them in 2008 when Brady was out for the year.

    Tom Brady 7 – 2 lifetime vs Steelers

  28. The return to the Pats was engineered, BB interrogating other team’s players…. Such flattery…– meanwhile ex- Pats players are being hired as soon as they were released by the Pats. BB gets players that other teams deem not good and turn them into formidable players like Blount and his friend Talib. That is why Steelers snap Blount in the first place. Talib is doing well. Blount languished with the Steelers and was frustrated. If he did that walk out stunt with BB, he’d get the same treatment too. If he gets that far. It’s telling that Blount was surprised when he was released by the Steelers. With BB there will be no surprises. Look at Jonas. He was the star of the last game but he got sent home just the same. BB’s message for the team is consistent. As for Blount being rewarded… He gets peanuts for pay from the Pats and he will have to put up with BB’s tight rules. He will have to earn everything. His reward is to realize his potential in an environment that pushes him to be the best that he can be. Hm… Sound like the marines.

  29. Blount isn’t playing for peanuts. He already made $1.5M this yr from Pgh and will make another $455k from us next year. That’s no matter IF or WHERE he is currently playing.

  30. This is why I’ve said for years that changes need to be made. Blount acted up and got cut because the Steelers didn’t want a malcontent around. The Pats and Blount should not have been allowed to profit from his misbehavior. He was essentially fired for cause. Like T.O. was, like Moss was and like Kershaw was. In these cases no team should be allowed to sign a player like that until the start of the next league year. Players should not be enabled to essentially blackmail a team via intentional poor performance.

  31. Don’t know why anyone is making a big deal out of this STILL! Pittsburgh would not have kept Blount around. He was not contributing. He wasn’t the power running back they were fooled into thinking they were getting. I have no doubt he will cause trouble for the Patriots and where ever else he goes when they cut him again. I’m so glad he’s not with the Steelers anymore.

  32. Watched part of patriots game. Why did it look like Blount ran with more heart than he did with Pittsburgh? A playing who plays when he wants. Just hope we can keep the idiot in control if we play them in playoffs.

  33. The Pats have been the No.1 or No.2 seed the last 9 years, they mow down the opposition,look impressive, but there’s just one problem.They have no Super Bowl wins in 10 years !! Close but no cigar !! They look like a shoo in this year, but someone will clip their wings before it’s over.As far as Blount, it just shows how Belichick is as desperate as he is good.The rumor has it he and Kraft are trying to get Hernandez out on weekend work details.

  34. come to the afcn and play some real footbal

    The Steelers and Ravens had a guaranteed 4-0 spotted to them by the Bengals and Browns for many years.

    What are you talking about

  35. Some guys just aren’t cut out for the life of an NFL player. Has the talent to be in the league, but has a room temperature IQ and an attitude problem to boot.

  36. The Steelers could care less about serving the right kind of punishment to Blount. They served the right kind of punishment for the benefit of the Steelers.

  37. All I can say is thanks Steelers and the rest of the league for passing on Blount !

    The Patriots know how to coach and motivate him, great pick-up for the stretch !!

    Cheers.

  38. It would behoove the Steelers to make some serious changes to play calls and signals before meeting the Pats in the playoffs.

    I wouldn’t mind losing a locker room cancer like Blount, but unfortunately he went to a contender. The monetary gain or loss, would be no big deal… but if he ends up getting a ring out of this deal, that would make me sick. With the roll the Pats are on now, that could be a very real possibility.

  39. The Steelers did what was best for the Steelers…as they should do. It has been widely reported that Blount was a negative to the team chemistry; which an organization with playoff hopes cannot tolerate. Blount dishonored himself. He may have gotten back to where he wanted to go, but the fact that no other teams were interested speaks volumes. Blount’s career is likely coming to an end in the not too distant future and his leverage to get good contractual money (due to no teams competing for his services) is all but gone, thanks to his antics. Nobody likes or wants a quitter on their team. Blount’s fortune may be short-lived.

  40. This further proves to me that Tomlin has little discipline or control of this team. Since he couldn’t deal with him, they cut him. I say Tomlin should be the next one to get cut.

  41. The man’s a supposed professional. Reward equals MONEY, and he lost a bundle. Stupidest article ever… the man loses roughly a million dollars, and this genius says he got rewarded. Go flip burgers at Macs, Bouchette, this journalism thing is beyond your intellectual capacity…

  42. cincyalldaway says:
    Nov 24, 2014 12:47 PM
    Is it me, or are the patsies fans even bigger girly boys than Brady?
    ____________________________________________________

    It’s you.

    Would you really want me to judge all cincy fans by the ones in the PFT.com comment sections?

    Seriously, y’all need some empathy.

  43. “I wish the pats played in the afc north instead of that soft afc east. they would see what smashmouth football was all about. easy to compile wins playing against weak teams like dolphins, jets and bills”

    Can’t have been too easy, since the Steelers just lost to the “weak” Jets.

  44. The Pats have thoroughly owned the Steelers in the playoffs since they destroyed them in the AFCC in 2002. That’s never going to change.

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