Friday, March 28, 2014
Signing Blount a priority for Steelers
By Scott Brown
PITTSBURGH -- The Steelers are meeting Friday with LeGarrette Blount and they have added incentive to sign the former Patriots running back before he leaves.
There is finally movement when it comes to running backs, one of the few positions that didn't cash in during the first frenzied wave of free agency. As a result, the Steelers don't have as many options when it comes to signing a proven veteran running back to provide depth behind Le'Veon Bell.
Maurice Jones-Drew, who visited the Steelers last week, is visiting Oakland on Friday and the two sides are closing in on a contract, per ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. Jones-Drew is expected to have a new deal a day after the Dolphins signed Knowshon Moreno to a one-year, $3 million contract, per Schefter.
Those two developments may not lead to the Steelers putting an all-out blitz on Blount today but they should have more of a sense of urgency when it comes to signing him. Coach Mike Tomlin said earlier this week at the NFL owners meetings that the Steelers intend to sign a proven veteran to back up Bell and there aren't a lot of options if they don't sign Blount.
Whether the two sides can find common ground on money as well as Blount's role with Bell entrenched as the starter remains to be seen.
The Steelers would have to clear salary-cap room to sign Blount but that could be done easily by restructuring linebacker Lawrence Timmons' contract.
Given a back the caliber of Moreno fetched just a one-year deal with decent but not great money bodes well for Blount falling into the range of what the Steelers are willing to pay him.