Pats reportedly issue tender to RB Blount

"They are continuously bringing free agents in to update their information should they run into a situation where they find themselves in need", Comcast SportsNet New England's Phil Perry said in his report. Here are some other moves from Belichick's Patriots rein that remind us that what his players, and rivals, have in mind are quite different than what he does. The Patriots' move now guarantees them exclusive negotiating rights with Blount if he doesn't sign elsewhere before July 22. "Second, if the May 9 tender is made and the player signs with a new team before July 22 the transaction counts toward the compensatory draft pick formula for 2018".

By issuing the tender, Blount remains a part of the compensatory draft pick formula.

Blount set career highs last season with 299 carries, 1,161 yards and an NFL-best 18 rushing touchdowns.

In layman's terms, this is about the Patriots protecting their interests when it comes to Blount, the only player left on the market given the May 9 tender, because he's obviously not signing the tender for a $100K raise.

It is a bit shrewd business from the Patriots, who protect themselves if Blount signs with another team.

The Baltimore Ravens, Detroit Lions and New York Giants reportedly are interested in Blount. The tender helps protect their compensatory pick if he were to leave, while offering him a one-year, $1.1 million deal in the process.

And so, for teams that didn't get what they needed at running back in free agency or the draft, the time had come for Blount to get his offers and make his money. However, if teams around the league were so convinced by his season, they wouldn't have been waiting around to make him an offer. As and Pats Pulpit explain, that pick itself may not amount to much, because it would immediately be cancelled out by the team's signing of defensive tackle Lawrence Guy and running back Rex Burkhead. So if Blount signs his tender with the Patriots, he could earn up to $2.1 million in 2017.

And if July 22 rolls around and Blount is forced to return, great.

Stay tuned to End Zone Score for more on New England's offseason.

  • Julie Sanders