PITTSBURGH — The Steelers and free-agent running back LeGarette Blount agreed on a two-year contract that will give the team needed depth in the backfield behind budding star Le’Veon Bell.
The 27-year-old Blount ran for 772 yards and a career-high seven touchdowns in 2013 for the New England Patriots. He added 166 yards and set a team playoff record with four touchdowns in a playoff win over the Indianapolis Colts.
Blount has 2,711 yards rushing and 20 touchdowns in 56 games, with 28 career starts.
Undrafted out of college following his career at Oregon, Blount began his NFL career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before being dealt to the Patriots before last season.
He is most remembered for an incident in college when he sucker-punched a Fresno State player after a game on national television, resulting in a year-long suspension.
The 6-foot, 250-pound Blount also gives the Steelers a big back near the goal line.
The Steelers need bodies in the backfield after Jonathan Dwyer and Felix Jones were not re-signed after last season.
By adding Blount, the Steelers now have five running backs on their roster: Bell, Blount, Alvester Alexander, Miguel Maysonet and Tauren Poole.