Questions raised about Blount orchestrating his return to Patriots

AP

Questions have been raised this week in Phoenix about whether Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount purposely got himself cut by the Steelers with the knowledge that if he left Pittsburgh, he could return to New England.

Blount was waived by the Steelers in November after walking off the field before the end of a game, and the Patriots re-signed him that week. That has resulted in stories with headlines like, “The other Patriots conspiracy theory: LeGarrette Blount’s scheme to reunite with Bill Belichick?” A segment on Pardon the Interruption discussed whether tampering rules were violated by the Patriots, who let Blount know he’d have a place to play if he got cut by the Steelers.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that Blount answered with a soft “No” and shook his head when asked if he orchestrated his exit from the Steelers. Blount wouldn’t answer whether he knew the Patriots wanted him back before he left the Steelers.

But the conspiracy theories don’t make a lot of sense. Even if Blount was purposely acting out because he was unhappy in Pittsburgh, he had no way of knowing for sure that his act would result in the Steelers waiving him. It could have just as easily resulted in the Steelers suspending him or benching him, options that wouldn’t have had the desired effect. And the Patriots didn’t even claim Blount on waivers after Pittsburgh waived him. Some other team could have claimed him, which would have prevented Blount from getting back to New England.

So while it worked out well in the end for both Blount and the Patriots, that doesn’t mean it was planned in advance. A conspiracy theory makes for a good topic of conversation during Super Bowl week — even a conspiracy theory that doesn’t add up.

118 responses to “Questions raised about Blount orchestrating his return to Patriots

  1. Tell ESPN and Wilbon to act up and waive themselves. Deflate gate is dying down and these stories are getting annoying.

    Pats didn’t claim him right away. If they set it up, the risked the chance of another team claiming him. Also, they let him walk during free agency.

  2. Its such a deep conspiracy that Blount then was also involved in such a scandal that Blount worked out deals with 30 other teams to not claim him on waivers so then he could sign a new, not nearly as good contract with the Patriots. Even the Colts, Ravens, and the AFC East were on board with this one to make sure Tom Brady could be helped out in the quest for ring 4

  3. As much as i dislike the Pats this is getting a bit OTT now.

    If the Steelers cut him wouldnt other teams have a chance to sign him (worst-first) on the waiver wire ?

  4. Thanks for atleast explaining the waiver process. I have seen this story on other media, and they don’t mention the fact that HE PASSED THROUGH WAIVERS UNCLAIMED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Keep wearing those tinfoil hats you nut jobs!

  5. I personally feel that Blount wanted to be part of the NE game plan and feel valued. He probably thought it would have been more of a running back by committee stint in Pit, but it didn’t pan out that way. A lot of cats seem to return to the Pats. Stop the witch hunt and trying to make everything the Pats do seem scheming and convoluted.

  6. The funny thing is if Blount had done the same thing to the Patriots that he did while on the Steelers, they would cut him also. Yet, they rewarded him for bad behavior.

  7. The best part is how he “orchestrated” Steven Ridley getting hurt and how he obviously snuck into Jonas Gray’s house and turned off his alarm so he would oversleep and be late for practice right after rushing for 200 yards against the Colts.

    Such an easy plan when you really think about it…….

  8. A conspiracy theory makes for a good topic of conversation during Super Bowl week — even a conspiracy theory that doesn’t add up.

    Most conspiracy theories don’t add up. That why it’s always some white trash loser or left wing moron that comes up with them.

  9. Obviously, Belichick used one of his deceptive Jedi mind tricks on the rest of the league.
    “This is not the running back you are looking for… move along.”

  10. Listen, I hate the Patriots as much as the next guy but, seriously, enough of the witch hunt already.

  11. I’m a Giants fan, no love lost on the Patriots here, but seriously can we get off the Patriots case? they are a great team and have been for a long time. Its sad that they broke a rule ten years ago and we still question everything. Maybe they don’t cheat, maybe they are just that good.

  12. He orchestrated it with them… He knew it was his only shot to get back there and be the guy so he quits in his team and leaves the field before the game ended. He took his chances and won. Pats just don’t stop, he was a baby cause bell was the guy and he wasn’t

  13. This the Pats we’re talking about. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. The fact that Blount is the starter says it all.

    What can a player do this late into the year to beat out another player, especially a player who has not even been on your roster?

  14. The mantra that ” They hate us because they ain’t us” becomes truer and truer.

    When will the witch hunt end? He PASSES thru waivers. ANY team could have claimed him !

    Next we are going to hear the Patriots had someone at NFL HQ to prevent any team from claiming him.

  15. The Pats organization just stinks to high heaven. But don’t fret Pats fans, GODdell/Kraft will make sure that nothing happens to you.

  16. The fact is players keep in touch with their former teammates and even position coaches through social media.

    Antonio Brown and Manny Sanders had season long competition going on and even a large bet after the latter left for Denver.

    We know the Pats wanted to keep him but couldn’t afford him.

    Would like to muckrake more on the Pats……but this time there’s nothing there.

  17. The fact is Blount says he communicated with the Patriots regularly before being cut and they expressed that they wanted him back. He was under contract with another AFC team during that time. (Coincidentally, it happened to be one of the teams they were caught videotaping in spygate.

    If that’s not tampering, what is?

  18. I fail to see what the problem is to begin with.
    So what IF he wanted out of Pittsburgh?
    Pittsburgh let him go willfully, right?

  19. “Even if Blount was purposely acting out because he was unhappy in Pittsburgh, he had no way of knowing for sure that his act would result in the Steelers waiving him.”

    Perhaps not, but it would greatly increase the chances of that happening. Especially considering Pittsburg needed running back help.

  20. So your point is Bob, Bill and Tom’s legacy will be they cheat. Thus the Pats dynasty will be that with an asterisk (cheaters).

  21. There’s no way this could be orchestrated. Now, when he did get re-signed by New England and he started doing well, Rod Stewart’s song “Some Guys Have All the Luck” started playing in my head whenever I saw Blount, but that’s about it. No conspiracy in my mind.

  22. Patriots have been doing this sort of stuff for years, the cheaters.
    I heard a rumor that Brady threw over-inflated balls during the combine so that he would look really bad and the Patriots could pick him up in a late round in the draft.
    Apparently it was Belichick that was pumping up the balls. No one noticed cuz he was wearing a hoodie.

  23. Should anything surprise us anymore…. During the season and the playoffs, the Colts and the Ravens noticed that the Notorious Cheaters footballs were deflated… It was reported to the league… The league decided to check the balls at halftime of the championship game… On the way to the championship game field, the Notorious Cheaters equipment guy took the ball bag into crapper for 1-1/2 minutes… At halftime, it was discovered that the Notorious Cheaters footballs were deflated, AS REPORTED!!! #sherlockholmesnotneededonthis1

  24. Nothing here folks …. he had to pass through waivers before the Pats could pick him up. Even the haters have enough sense to call this one out.

    Super Bowl story lines must be getting few and far between.

  25. Haha, the other day I joked that people were going to say Belichick somehow cheated his way into getting Blount back, but apparently that conspiracy theory was actually alive in some circles.

  26. Did someone hear that in the bathroom too? Pats were 31rst in the waiver order when Blount got cut by the Steelers. He could have just as easily ended up in some backwater like Minnesota, who claimed BTate a day later. Keep trying “journalists”.

  27. Wow! Starting to run out of material huh? This is pathetic. And just a quick thank you to the fans of other teams that have realized this is a witch-hunt.

  28. Give me a break, if Tomlin does his job as coach and deals with the situation instead of having a hissy fit and cutting him then 1. he would still be on the Steelers and B . It might be the Steelers in the Super Bowl instead of New England

  29. And another point….. Should we focus on how Bill B. has taken problem players in the past and made them productive? That doesn’t make a great story does it. It’s called Leadership, Teamwork and Coaching. If I were the Steelers I’d have cut him as well. The other teams that passed on him saw a problem player. The Pats saw a problem player but possibly the missing piece if they could get him to play – and fit – within their system. Guess what, they did.

  30. I mean they cheated with deflate-gate (be sure to see the excellent study about how the Patriots fumble far fewer than any team) so why is this such a conspiracy. The Patriots are cheaters and it’s baffeling that so many people come to this site and just ignore it. Our league was destroyed all year and this is the final nail in the coffin.

  31. Just a thought….If he walks off the field during a game he comes across as a major locker room cancer and labeled as someone who isn’t a team player. It does pretty much prevent most teams from picking him up.

  32. Every team would cut a backup for acting as insubordinate as Blount did. And no team would pick up a player for acting as insubordinate as he did. Except, of course, a team that was behind the reasons why he acted that way. If you understand that, then the conspiracy theory makes perfect sense.

    Ridley was IR’d before Blount was released from the Steelers.

  33. He was waived, not cut. 31 teams had a chance to get him. You guys are really grasping at straws now…

  34. What are the NFL rules for tampering when a player knows he has a new team so he makes himself a huge problem to get cut to move on to that team?

  35. People passed on him because his actions weren’t something you want on your team.

    IF, and that’s a big if Blount and the Pats had a plan of him acting out as much as possible to make him useless to everyone in the league.

    Calculated risk IMO. If it happened.

  36. Good! Blount was in the right…it’s not like the Steelers needed him, I mean did you see how well Leveon Bell played in the playoffs…? Tomlin must of had Bell on his fantasy team cuz he wouldn’t give any other running back a touch…

  37. But why would any team spend their waiver on a guy who got cut for walking off the field before the end of the game..? Conspiracy still stands in my opinion

  38. I’m not buying into the conspiracy theory that Blount orchestrated his way out of Pgh, But Pats fans were up in arms stating the jets Tampered with Revis, because the owner said he wanted him back. Whats the difference between that and what the Pats did with Blount? I think its a stupid rule, but if that’s what tampering is, then the jets and Pats did the same thing. As for Blount knowing he would get released by the Steelers, there were stories out of training camp he was a problem, then the marijuana thing with Bell. For all we know, internally the organization could have told him one more outburst and you’re gone.

  39. Since we know that the Pats are cheaters we might as well add tampering to the list.

    “If you cheat on the practice field, you’ll cheat in the game. If you cheat in the game, you’ll cheat the rest of your life. I’ll not have it.” — Vince Lombardi – GOAT

  40. Granted. Blount-y-gate isn’t as a lock as deflate guy but really, who was picking this guy up in waivers? If he was a cat, he was already on his ninth life. I say it was orchestrated. NE was the only place he was ever going

  41. Yea………Blount signed a two year deal in Pittsburgh….only to get cut on purpose 6 months in because he knew the Patriots were going to the Super Bowl………..I wont turn my tv on till Sunday at 630 …..this is why

  42. I disagree because Tomlin is known for taking the most extreme action in every situation. Thus he was sure to take the most extreme action by cutting Blount at the first indiscretion on his part.

    Everyone knows this, including the NE coach.

  43. What an absolute non-starter of a report. Blount was waived and subject to the NFL waiver wire process which means teams in inverse order of record from worse up could have picked him up. The Pats would have been 31st on that list as only Arizona had a better record than them at the time. Nonetheless, no one claimed him and he went where he was wanted.
    It’s only news because it’s the Pats and all the haters just eat up what the media masses feed them.

  44. If someone gets caught stealing, the next time something goes missing everyone will look at that person. Right or wrong, the Patriots have a cheating reputation that will always follow them.

  45. Just a friendly reminder, Patriots Derangement Syndrome is an actual thing. Only a matter of time before someone claims they saw him releasing chemtrails out of the Patriots team plane as it flew to Arizona.

  46. I agree. Belichick and the Patriots are cheaters beyond doubt. Between illegal filming once 9 years ago, player manipulation, Revis-gate, Blount-gate, formation-gate and deflate-gate is has been “proven beyond doubt” that they are Cheaters. We don’t need any more information.

    Either that or Belichick has more knowledge of the game and the rules than any other coach, can put together a different offensive and defensive scheme each week, knows how to motivate & manages his team to get the maximum effort and win games. Just a thought, maybe the Pats are a better organization than most of the other 31 teams afterall.

    Should be a great game Sunday and if the Patriots win we will have another Bowl-gate conspiracy to follow. Guaranteed.

  47. I said this from the beginning. Someone from the Pats told Blount to make a big stink so it looks so bad that the Steelers cut him, no other teams would want him, and the Pats would pick him up. Surprised no one looked into this back in November.

  48. I have been saying this since the Steelers cut Blount. There is no way a player with the checkered pass as Blount acts out like he did without knowing he had a fall back option. And with Ridley hurt he surely knew the Pats would jump on him as no team in their right mind would claim him.

  49. Are you telling me Belichick would have picked up a player who had walked out on his own team unless he knew something others did not?

  50. Really, who would care? Not great versus teams with decent run defenses, like the Ravens (3 carries for 1 yard). And soon to be cut for going up in smoke. Steelers did the right thing.

  51. He was basically a backup RB on the steelers and he quit on his team. The odds of some team claiming him on waivers was slim. If he would have been suspended he could have done something else and got cut. There is no way to prove there was any tampering or collusion. It worked out great for him though. That’s why I said when it happened that the NFL needs a new rule. If a guy gets cut during the season for cause (behavior issues, not performance or money) then he shouldn’t be eligible to play for another team until the following season. If he did not quit on his team in a game he would likely have been claimed. I know my Dolphins could have used a power runner that could pick up a tough 3rd and 1 but there is no way Philbin would have done it considering his behavior. (he is struggling with Wallace for the same thing and that guy is the highest paid player on the team and will likely be cut) l

  52. Okay, here’s the scoop with what really happened on the bogus Deflate Gate non-story:

    The Patriots did not cheat. They were set up by the Baltimore Ravens. The Patriots did nothing wrong. They like their footballs under-inflated but they’re not breaking the rules because the refs APPROVED their footballs for game usage as did they APPROVE Aaron Rodgers overinflated footballs for game usage. Every team likes their footballs inflated differently and this has been going on forever and no one gave a crap until the Ravens had their feelings hurt by Tom Brady who told them to ‘study the rulebook’. Aw, poor babies. The Ravens should be the team that people are focusing on that started this whole mess because they’re tired of being owned by Brady.

  53. Everybody failing to point out why Blount would risk his livelihood without knowing somebody (Pats) would sign him to another two year contract. Back up RBs with a shady history and to top it off a quitter are usually out of the league. He wouldn’t have risked his money if he didn’t know the pats would sign him for not only this year but next year also.

  54. Yes he would have to clear waivers (and did) BUT it was obvious no other team would pick him up. Why? First, he obviously quit on his team in Pittsburgh. Who would want that cancer in their locker room? 2nd, if you pick him up on waivers he only has to play for you (he could retire or refuse) IF you agree to his contract he had with Pittsburgh. That was a 2yr deal worth 3.85 million. We know nobody was going to do that.

    So, either Patriots were in on this (most likely) or they were more than happy to bring a guy back who quit on his team and has a fairly hefty price tag.

  55. I have been all over the Pats about cheating and such, but this is lame. However, Blount could have diffused that notion very quick if he was smart enough, by being more vocal about it not being true. The way he answered the question leaves himself and the organization under scrutiny once again. Nice work Blount!

  56. Enough, already. Stop this lazy stuff and do some actual work to report on actual stories of interest that involve the game.

  57. Got to agree with the Pats fans: the jealous little pigs are out in force, many of them posting idiocy here.

  58. Blount passed on waived by every team in the NFL.

    Brady passed through 6 full rounds of the draft until picked by the Patriots with a compensatory pick.

    The Patriots roster is marbled with former street free agents and guys that went undrafted and guys that were selected in thee late rounds.

    The Patriots are in the Super Bowl despite losing to injury their staring middle linebacker, running back, and cornerback and they just find replacements.

  59. far from protecting the ‘integrity of the game’, except paying lip service to it when it periodically comes up, NFL organizations have the machiavellian mentality of renaissance princes, mob bosses or even CIA operatives.

    that’s why most owners, coaches and players haven’t really made a big deal of this, because it isn’t a big deal to them–the ‘culture of cheating’ permeates the NFL, and it’s best not to open that can of worms. if you expect to find virtue in a sport worth billions, which after all has a strong element of violence and subterfuge, you are naive.

    i suspect ‘deflategate’ is really at its core an in-house NFL power struggle, an effort to diminish kraft’s influence with goodell by other owners.

  60. I apologize if someone already pointed this out, but I hardly think the Patriots were desperate enough to add RB help that they would have bothered to tamper with Blount.

    I mean after all, they signed him the week after Jonas Gray had over 200 yards rushing.

    Was Blount talking to NE players who may have said they would love to play with him again? Maybe.

    But most likely they just saw an opportunity to add cheap depth.

  61. Patriot’s want credit for getting guys like Brady, Gronk, etc. but try to ignore the most egregious error in Hernandez when many teams wouldn’t touch him with a 10 foot pole!

  62. Ever notice haters constantly bringing up AHernandez, but nobody remembers Rae Carruth or Jovan Belcher. Psychologists could write textbooks about the obsessive minds of haters.

  63. johnodocks says:
    Jan 29, 2015 9:54 AM
    Are you telling me Belichick would have picked up a player who had walked out on his own team unless he knew something others did not?

    Here’s what he knew: “There is a guy on the street who has problems in other places but was great when he was here. I can get him for next to nothing and if it doesn’t work, cut him with no cap hit.”

    That’s what he knew.

  64. I live in Pittsburgh. I know that it also eats up the local yinzers that Blount didn’t want to play for the Steelers and is doing great with the Patriots and being coached by Belichick. You should hear some of the crap coming from local radio here. They’re so embarrassing.

  65. There is no way the Patriots could have known that the Steelers wouldn’t just suspend Blount without pay or that another team would pick him off the waiver wire. It would only have cost any team $281K to pick him up for the last five games of the season. The Patriots wound up paying him the league minimum. It’s not even as if they saved so much be letting him pass through waivers.

  66. Much as I like Tomlin, he has a history of over-using one back until he “runs the wheels off him.” I was concerned as soon as it became apparent this was his strategy with Bell–and New England had no part in it. My understanding is that Blount has had some behavioral issues in the past, so it’s not surprising he didn’t react well to being under-utilized. And one thing led to another.

    As others have said, no one could have ensured the Steelers would waive him nor that the Pats would be the team to pick him up. They needed a back, he was available, and that’s all there was to it. We shouldn’t have gambled it all on Bell. But then again, I’d rather not have Blount if he didn’t really want to be there.

  67. Ugh. More conspiracy b.s. I’ve been reading about the panthers and Vikings both using heaters on the ball at games this year. It’s on camera and against the rules. Yet nothing was said. There are no facts on deflate gate. We have a leaked statement saying the balls were 2lbs low. That turned out to be false. I am still waiting to hear if the Colts footballs were ever tested, which I doubt. I see lots of evidence for weather being the issue, but forget common sense when you can just lynch these guys. I am a Vikings fan since 68 but what espn and the fans have done to the patriots is disgusting and just shows the maturity level and intelligence of the average football fan. I am also one who believes video taping signals is no worse than photographs, lip reading, writing down signals and what have you. These teams have photos of every formation and play on the field. You think they don’t have photos of guys giving signals yet somehow what the pats did was cheating? There are people on the sidelines all game long trying to figure out signals. You have players on the field overhearing things on the sidelines and using that in the game. You have guys trapping footballs and hoping the refs and cameras didn’t see it. Guys intentionally hurting others. This integrity in football thing is a joke. In a league where the motto is, if the ref didn’t see it–it didn’t happen is the norm….Well, are you really going to talk about cheating with a straight face.

  68. The idea that Blount’s antics guaranteed that no other team would have an interest in him is an exaggeration. I can think of several players whose misdeeds far exceeded anything Blount has done that had no trouble finding a new team after leaving their old one.

    Blount passed through waivers primarily because nobody (including the Patriots) wanted to pick up the remainder of his 2year, $3.85 million contract.

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