No Patriot was more glowingly praised by Bill Belichick than LeGarrette Blount was at the end of this season.

Part of the appreciation was probably linked to the fact Blount did his job brilliantly for a relatively low wage.

In fact, when the Patriots dealt for Blount about 40 days after he signed a one-year, $1.75 million deal with the Patriots, Belichick sliced Blount’s 2013 pay down to $680,000.

Gone was the $350,000 workout bonus he had. Halved was the $1.25 million base salary.

So far in his four-year career, Blount’s earned $1.945 million in salary. More than many of us, to be sure, but as low as you can be paid over four NFL seasons.

Blount becomes a free agent in about a month. Does he cash in on the momentum he built with his end-of-season exploits (48 carries, 357 yards and six touchdowns in Week 17 and the Divisional playoffs)? Does he stay in New England, a workplace that obviously agrees with him?

Blount just turned 27. The shelf life for NFL running backs isn’t great and Blount, being a bigger back, may have an even shorter span because the quickness he currently has that complements his bulk may decline.