(97.1 The Ticket) After a long search, the Lions have found their veteran running back.

The team signed LeGarrette Blount to a one-year $4.5 million contract on Friday, according to NFL Network.

Blount, 31, was one of several veteran free agents the Lions considered in their search for help in the backfield. They also met with DeMarco Murray, Jonathan Stewart and Frank Gore over the past week.

It was reported on Wednesday night that the Lions were nearing a deal with Gore, but that was before they met with Blount on Friday. In the end, they went with the player they know best.

Both general Bob Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia intersected with Blount in New England. Blount is especially fond of Patricia.

Blount, an eight-year vet, still runs as hard as anyone in the NFL, and he’ll fill the Lions’ need for a physical, between-the-tackles back. He averaged 4.4 yards per carry last year with the Eagles and piled up 18 touchdowns with the Patriots the year before that.

Even with the addition of Blount, the Lions are likely to add a running back in the draft as well. Quinn identified that position as an area of need entering the offseason after Detroit finished last in the NFL in rushing for the second time in three years.

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