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Sources: LeGarrette Blount to visit Steelers; Ravens interested in running back

The Pittsburgh Steelers have scheduled a visit with New England Patriots veteran free agent running back LeGarrette Blount for Sunday and Monday, according to league sources.

The Ravens also have interest in the running back and are expected to monitor the market for Blount with no visit scheduled for him at this time, according to sources.

The Ravens could use Blount as a short-yardage back to complement former Pro Bowl runner Ray Rice. Blount could also fill in for Rice if he is disciplined by the NFL for his involvement in a domestic dispute last month. Rice is still waiting for the case to be resolved after he and his fiancee were arrested and charged with simple assault-domestic violence stemming from an altercation in February at an Atlantic City casino.

The Patriots have maintained dialogue with Blount since the start of free agency, but no deal is imminent, according to a source. The Steelers also had in running back Maurice Jones-Drew for a visit earlier this week.

It may be difficult for the Steelers to structure much of a contract offer for Blount due to their tight salary-cap situation. They were $2.174 million under the NFL limit of $133 million prior to their two-year contract for wide receiver Lance Moore on Friday.

The Ravens had trouble containing Blount during a 41-7 loss to the Patriots in December. He busted up the middle for 76 yards and two red-zone touchdowns on 16 carries against the Ravens.

At 6-foot, 250 pounds, Blount has a powerful running style.

The 27-year-old gained 772 yards and scored seven touchdowns last season for New England. The former Oregon standout gained 189 of those yards in the regular-season finale against the Buffalo Bills and scored two touchdowns.

During a playoff win over the Indianapolis Colts, Blount rushed for 166 yards and four touchdowns.

In four NFL seasons, Blount has rushed for 2,711 yards and 20 touchdowns and has averaged 4.7 yards per carry for his career.

As a rookie with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he rushed for 1,007 yards and six touchdowns for the Buccaneers.

If Blount does join the Steelers, the Ravens' defense would have to compete against two big backs in Blount and starter Le'Veon Bell following Bell's impressive rookie season.

awilson@baltsun.com

twitter.com/RavensInsider

 

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