Former New England Patriots star running back LeGarrette Blount signed a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles, reportedly worth up to $2.8 million. The signing signals the end of the Ryan Mathews era in Philadelphia. The Eagles will be releasing the often injured Mathews in a move that will create $4 million in cap space.

Blount led the NFL with 18 rushing touchdowns last season and will provide Philadelphia with a two-down back to complement Darren Sproles. Wendell Smallwood is also expected to factor into the offensive backfield, but to a lesser degree.

This is another move by the Eagles to build up their offense around maturing quarterback Carson Wentz. Joining wide receivers Alshon Jeffrey and Torrey Smith, Blount gives Wentz another veteran weapon he can trust. The move potentially stabilizes Philly’s offense, giving them a reliable early down presence to keep defenses from keying in on Wentz.

Blount will offer potential top 20 running back upside in fantasy football, depending on the Eagles success on offense. Ryan Mathews scored 8 touchdowns in only 13 games with much less talent to help move the ball and the 30-year old Blount is coming off of a career year. It’s possible Blount could see a sharp decline in touches and overall production after exiting a far better New England roster, but the Eagles boast a strong offensive line and should be handing him a quality role. That doesn’t make him a reliable fantasy asset, but it does make him one we’ll want to consider taking a flier on at some point in our fantasy football drafts.

The Philadelphia Eagles continue to make big moves to compete next season that don’t tie up long-term money. Look for the Eagles to battle for a playoff spot in the competitive NFC East and if all goes well, this team could also be a solid source of fantasy football production in 2017.

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