After something of a breakout season with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2015, Antwon Blake is carrying a little bit of leverage in free agency, looking like he’ll end up playing for the New England Patriots, Detroit Lions or Tennessee Titans.
It’s visiting time for Blake, who has already been to Tennessee to meet with the Titans; the Patriots come next, and then the Lions. Who knows, he might not even make Detroit if he likes what the Patriots are offering him, although they haven’t been doing a whole lot since the beginning of free agency.
Blake, 25, went undrafted after playing college football for UTEP. He was picked up by the Jacksonville Jaguars and played 16 games there before getting released. The Steelers claimed him off the waivers, and after special teams and some time on the field without starting in 2013 and 2014, he played and started in all 16 games for Pittsburgh in 2015. He had one interceptions in 2014 when he started becoming a bigger part of the defense, and finished with two interceptions, one returned for a touchdowns and 11 passes defended while finishing with 74 sacks. He also added one interception in the postseason, playing in both games for Pittsburgh this winter.
He made $1.5 million, but showing he can do quite well as a starting corner, he’s probably going to make at least twice as much on more than just a one-year deal. The Titans have plenty of cap space ($34 million) while both the Lions and the Patriots, without any big names coming in from the looks of things, are around the same number, just under $20 million. Both the Titans and the Lions need a bit more help in the secondary, so if playing time is something Blake cares about, both of these teams could be better options, and might be willing to pay more to sign him.