Last March, heading into free agency, Ben Tate and LeGarrette Blount were viewed as two of the more intriguing options available on the running back market. Tate, who had been Arian Foster‘s No. 2 in Houston for years, drew comparisons to Michael Turner, another longtime backup who finally got a shot at a lead role when he reached free agency. Blount, meanwhile, was coming off a surprisingly stellar campaign with the Patriots, which included a 166-yard, four-touchdown outburst against the Colts in the postseason.
Eight months later, both players are on waivers, having been released by their respective teams yesterday. In Cleveland, rookies Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell surpassed Tate on the depth chart, which didn’t sit well with the veteran, who publicly griped about his role. The same can be said of Blount, who left the field early, apparently upset about his lack of playing time, during the Steelers’ Monday night win over the Titans as Le’Veon Bell rumbled to over 200 yards on the ground.
Given the way things ended in Cleveland and Pittsburgh for Tate and Blount, teams should have concerns about signing either player as a backup — the impact on the locker room may not be worth it for a contending team, even if it means adding more talent to its backfield. That’s likely why we’ve mostly heard reports about teams with no interest in either player since they were waived yesterday. The Broncos, Cardinals, and Jaguars are among the clubs who have been ruled out as possible destinations for the two backs, and the Browns and Steelers are uninterested in one another’s castoffs.
Still, there are rumblings that Tate, at least, won’t make it through waivers, and I’d be a little surprised if Blount didn’t find work for the rest of the year. It seems likely that both players will get another shot, so today’s poll question asks: Which player would you rather take a flier on? Or are neither of them worth the hassle? After casting your vote, feel free to weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section.