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LeGarrette Blount gives the Eagles the bruising running back they were missing

The burly running back is coming off the best season of his career.

NFL: Super Bowl LI-New England Patriots vs Atlanta Falcons Dan Powers-USA TODAY Sports

LeGarrette Blount is no longer a Patriot. The New England tailback agreed to a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles, the team announced Wednesday. The deal is worth up to $2.8 million, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Blount is coming off his finest year as a pro. The seven-year veteran ran for a career-high 1,161 yards and led the NFL in rushing touchdowns with 18. The burly back was a boon for New England in short yardage situations, leading a platoon that featured Dion Lewis and Super Bowl superstar James White.

However, he’s also on the wrong side of 30 and could see his efficiency wind down as he piles up the carries. Blount gained just 3.9 yards per carry last fall, a mark ranked 30th among qualified running backs in 2016. It was his lowest per-carry number since the 2012 season, when he lost his starting role with the Buccaneers to then-rookie Doug Martin.

The Patriots clearly had their caveats about re-signing Blount, instead adding Rex Burkhead and Mike Gillislee as free agents this spring. What they may not have planned for was lack of interest in him on the early market. New England offered Blount a last-minute contract on May 9, which is known as a “June 1 tender,ensuring he couldn’t be signed away without a compensatory draft pick in return.

Blount’s one-year, $1.1 million deal was exceeded by the Eagles. The $2.8 million Blount can potentially earn with Philadelphia next season could net the Patriots a sixth-round compensatory pick. It could also serve as insurance for the Patriots in the event that either Chris Long or Barkevious Mingo, two of the team’s free-agency losses, don’t make the final roster with a new team this season.

The two-time Super Bowl champion has bounced back before, however. He had been forsaken in Tampa Bay when the franchise traded him for return specialist Jeff Demps and a seventh-round pick in 2013. Blount responded by averaging five yards per touch and pushing the Patriots to the AFC title game. He signed with the Steelers that offseason but was released 11 games into a two-year contract.

That led him back to New England, where he once again filled a role as the team’s bruising tailback and won a Super Bowl ring in 2015.

Blount’s age isn’t the only caveat that comes with his signing. He’s had his share of character problems stemming back to his college days, when he punched a Boise State defensive lineman in the face after a season-opening loss. That led him to go undrafted the following spring. His brief tenure with the Steelers was marred by an arrest for marijuana possession and an incident where he left the field before the game ended.

He’s been a model citizen with the Patriots, and now the Eagles have another big offensive weapon to work with next season. Blount joins an offensive backfield that includes Darren Sproles, Ryan Mathews, and rookies Donnel Pumphrey and Corey Clement.

Blount’s addition may indicate that Mathews’ time with the Eagles is coming to a close. Eagles executive vice president of football operations, Howie Roseman, didn’t even mention Mathews’ name when discussing how Blount fits into the offensive backfield.

Blount flourished last season on third and fourth downs and in short-yardage, goal-line situations. The Eagles identified those as the primary reasons for adding Blount to the roster.