New LeGarrette Blount Conspiracy surrounds Patriots

legarrette-blount-conspiracyAlthough Deflate-gate is far from a dead matter, it appears that the fallout from this scandal won’t affect the New England Patriots’ spot in Super Bowl XLIX. Regardless, it seems that the Patriots just can’t avoid the conspiracy theories as they head towards their matchup with the Seattle Seahawks. And the latest potential scandal surrounding the team involves their running back, LeGarrette Blount.

For the first 11 games of the season, Blount played for the Pittsburgh Steelers and backed up Le’Veon Bell. He got 65 carries and totaled 266 yards and two rushing TD’s, before heading to the bus early during a game and later getting cut. At the time, it seemed like a career-destroying move and nobody would want to touch the 250-pound power runner this year. However, New England scooped Blount up and had him carrying the ball the following weekend.

Was it just coincidence that the Patriots needed a reliable first-string back at the same time that Blount wanted out of an unfavorable situation? Or is there more to the quick timing of New England’s late-season signing?

These were the type of questions that Blount was dodging during Tuesday’s media day in Arizona. In particular, here’s what he was asked and his responses (or lack thereof):

“Did you know you had a job with New England before you left Pittsburgh?”

Blount: Smiles without answering

“Why would you leave if you didn’t know in the back of your mind that they were waiting to call you?”

Blount: Smiles, laughs and says, “I don’t know nothing.”

legarrette-blount-patriots-2014If the Patriots organization, or someone around it, had contact with Blount prior to the signing, he’s obviously not telling anybody. But it’s clear that he’s happy going from Bell’s backup on a solid playoff team to one of the stars on New England’s Super Bowl squad.

There’s little doubt that Blount at least stayed in contact with his former Patriots teammates, including one-time starter Stevan Ridley, whose mid-October injury put him out of commission.

“I stayed close with a lot of guys,” Blount explained. “I stayed close with Ridley. I stayed close with Shane [Vereen]. I stayed close with all of my running backs. I stayed close with Devin [McCourty]. I stayed close with a lot of guys. Like I said, it’s a close-knit team. It’s really like a brotherhood. They supported me through everything that I’ve been through.”

However, Blount ultimately landed back in New England and it’s pretty clear that he’ll be a huge part of the gameplan next Monday night. And if you’re going to do some Super Bowl 49 betting, then you’ll definitely want to consider Blount’s involvement and how he balances out an attack that includes Tom Brady, Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski in the passing game. Will this, combined with Bill Belichick’s gameplan, be enough to topple the defending champion Seattle Seahawks? We’ll have to see when Super Bowl XLIX plays out in less than a week.

Will “Deflate-Gate” get Patriots Banned from 2015 Super Bowl?

patriots-super-bowl-bannedDue to Spy-gate in 2007, both the media and NFL fans have little patience for any hint of cheating from the New England Patriots. And the Pats paid dearly for this scandal, with head coach Bill Belichick being fined $500,000 and the team losing a first-round draft choice the following year. But what people are calling for after New England’s latest scandal, “Deflate-gate,” would be a far more significant punishment.

Deflate-gate is the term for findings that 11 of the 12 footballs that Tom Brady used during the AFC Championship were two pounds under standard pressure. There are members of the media and fans who believe that the Patriots should actually be banned from Super Bowl XLIX for Deflate-gate. Sorry to say that if you’ve already engaged in 2015 Super Bowl betting and done your research, you’d be starting over in this scenario. But would the NFL actually go as far as to kick New England out of the Super Bowl?

Not Likely, and Everybody does It

Ever since word came out that Brady used deflated footballs, talk around the media is that virtually every quarterback does this to some degree, or at least has the balls broken in to their liking. And while Brady and the Patriots may have overdone it, taking such a harsh line as to ban New England from the Super Bowl would be too much.

Furthermore, it’s obvious that the deflated footballs didn’t win the AFC Championship for the Patriots. They drubbed the Colts by a score of 45-7 and ran all over them, with running back LeGarrette Blount providing three touchdowns. So it’s not like deflated footballs were the sole cause of a 38-point victory.

But there will be Punishment

tom-brady-deflate-gateWhile the NFL isn’t going to remove New England from the Super Bowl, league officials aren’t going to let this team get away with what they’ve done either. The minimum fine for tampering with the football is $25,000, as per the NFL’s game operations manual. But these are the masterminds of the Spy-gate fiasco, and it’s the same quarterback and head coach running the team.

Now, are we talking Brady-suspension big? Probably not, and NFL analyst and former QB Trent Green said as much recently. While Green diminished the intense coverage that this mini-scandal is getting, he also thinks that a ball boy or equipment manager will be fired, a large fine will be levied, and the team will lose a draft pick.

“I think it’s going to be huge,” Green said. “When you look at what happened with the Spygate deal and the fact that they made a significant fine at that time ($500,000), I think that they’re going to try to make a statement with it.”

Justified Punishment?

While Brady contends that he didn’t have the balls “altered” or have anything out of the ordinary done, the point is that league rules were violated. And while a Super Bowl ban would be ridiculously harsh, another big fine and the loss of a draft pick (not sure if it should be first-round this time) would be enough to send a message to other QB’s/teams around the league.