There's legitimate reason to think LeGarrette Blount and his agent are simply trying to flirt for attention.
Wanna make a woman mad? Flirt with one of her girl friends. Want to really tick a guy off? Talk to another guy when you're out.
Is the logic being deployed here by Blount and Co. along those same lines? The Steelers and Maurice Jones-Drew separated from discussion earlier this week, presumably due to MJD wanting in the ballpark of $3.5 million a season. That news comes out, and suddenly, Blount, a free agent with 2,711 career yards on jut 579 attempts in 56 games (4.7 yards per carry), is visiting town.
To do what, exactly? There's still another few weeks until the Pirates home opener.
The Steelers have less than $3 million in cap space, and it's really hard to envision a scenario in which Blount accepts a veteran minimum deal with the numbers he has, and at least one outstanding postseason game etched in recent memory.
So two of the top names among running backs in free agency both make their first visits to the cap-strapped Steelers. The 27-year-old Blount has only moderate mileage on his tires, and could serve very well as a complimentary, if not a 200-carry, running back somewhere.
In other words, he's heading to the place it appears is accepted among NFL agents as the formidable appraisal source of free agent running back value; Pittsburgh.
Like most free agents, their worth relative to a team depends largely on the dollars they'll be paid. If the Steelers managed to get Blount on the cheap, there would be reason to be excited. Even bringing him in is a value-add from a team that has no running backs outside second-year RB Le'Veon Bell. Blount seems more like a fit with the Patriots than Pittsburgh, and that very well may be the intention here all along. And maybe the Steelers are in on the facade, and Blount, his agent and Kevin Colbert are talking about the most recent episode of The Voice or something.
Call it a pessimistic stance, it's just unclear how Blount fits in here, considering he could get more carries in a system that fits his ability more closely and doesn't have a younger, cheaper and more versatile starter already in place, not to mention a tight cap position.