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.