The Pittsburgh Steelers continue their search for depth at the running back position. Le'Veon Bell is penciled in as the starter for next season, but there is not much talent or experience behind the second-year pro. With wide receiver depth also an issue for the Steelers, they are setting their free agency focus on running backs instead. After a deal with Maurice Jones-Drew failed over the weekend, could LeGarrette Blount be the next best option?
According to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post, the former New England Patriots running back will visit Pittsburgh this week. Blount would be an excellent addition and give the Steelers a productive one-two punch on the ground. He is coming off a career-high season with the Patriots, putting up 772 yards and seven touchdowns off 153 carries. It was a big jump in numbers compared to what he did in 2012, but fell on track with the year he had his rookie season.
Blount is also gaining interest from the Baltimore Ravens, so if Pittsburgh wants a running back they should hurry when it comes to Blount. The Ravens already have Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce, so the interest feels a bit odd. However, the Ravens could be concerned that Rice may get suspended after his recent issues in the offseason and Blount would be a productive replacement. Signing him now would set up a backup plan while Baltimore awaits a decision on Rice.
The Steelers have not ruled out Jones-Drew as a possible option despite not getting a deal done immediately. The running back is of course requests more money than any team is willing to give an aging veteran coming off two down season filled with injuries. The two sides met last week to negotiate a possible deal, but Jones-Drew left unsigned. Head coach Mike Tomlin told media that he felt good about his meeting with the veteran and the team is keeping options open.
If the Steelers deal fails, the Minnesota Vikings could be an option. The team lost backup Toby Gerhart in free agency. They still need a backup to Adrian Peterson and Jones-Drew could be a good deal. The Dallas Cowboys are looking for the same thing with DeMarco Murray. The veteran running back should find a team soon as long as his contract demands are not too insane.