Steelers Should Release Blount, Sign Ben Tate
Nov 2, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns running back Ben Tate (44) rushes against Tampa Bay Buccaneers outside linebacker Lavonte David (54) during the first quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Browns beat the Buccaneers 22-17. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
The Pittsburgh Steelers have a decision to make about backup running back LeGarrette Blount. The decision regarding his poor attitude, epitomized last night when he walked off the field while the game was still in progress, could happen over the offseason. But, with the recent release of Ben Tate on Tuesday morning from the Cleveland Browns, the Steelers could be in a position address the Blount situation sooner.
Nobody’s perfect, and everyone has character flaws. There’s no denying that. Blount’s just happen to be a poison on this team. The Steelers are Blount’s 4th team in five seasons, and Steeler Nation is maybe finally starting to realize why. He’s a selfish guy who can’t help but act out in that way. Earlier this season, Blount was involved in a DUI stop along with teammate and fellow running back Le’Veon Bell. Blount and Bell are buds and “take selfies” of each other after Bell crosses the goal line. You can’t argue that Blount probably has some influence on Bell… or at least did (and maybe that’s how the drug induced DUI went down in the first place).
Bell is a very special player. He showed much of his potential last night by showing in front of a national audience that he is the best all around NFL back. Period. Run, catch, block – he can do it all. And very well. His 204 rushing yards against the Titans was the only the 4th in Steelers’ history to break the 200 yard barrier. He was in full beast mode, and there’s no question he is going to be a huge factor in the success of this offense. That said, Blount is very much now on the outside looking in.
Blount did not get one touch during the game on Monday night, and because of that, decided to head to the locker room early. In fact, he was already dressed in street clothes while most players were just starting to de-pad in the locker room. See here:
It’s obvious that Blount is a huge attitude problem for this team. He needs to go. But when? The offseason seemed like the best option simply because Dri Archer, aka “The Toy,” is the next man up if Blount were to go. But, as of Tuesday morning, there’s another option now on the table – Ben Tate. Tate was let go by the Browns since there is a very crowded core at that position in Cleveland. No room for Tate, and it doesn’t appear that the move was made due to any issues either side might have had with a reduction in carries per game – though there are mumblings that he was displeased. Perhaps he would be ok with not taking carries a game or two when he realizes he’s a backup to the best back in the league.
Tate may not have been the best back in Cleveland, and he won’t get many touches if he were to strap on the Black & Gold. But, at least he could have a much better attitude about his role as a backup running back than Blount currently has. Maybe a pipe dream? I say it’s a risk worth taking. Tate will be cheap – to the tune of under $400k, and the release of Blount will be just as minor a hit on the the salary cap.
At that price Tate won’t clear waivers, so if the Steelers want to make a move – they need to do it very soon.