Per Peter Schrager of Fox Sports, the Patriots have signed running back Donald Brown to a contract.
The seven-year veteran is coming off a couple of disappointing years with the San Diego Chargers where he rushed for 452 yards and one touchdown while playing in only 22 games out of a possible 36. Brown was originally drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the 2009 NFL Draft with their 1st round pick. He never lived up to his draft position as he has finished with no 1,000 rushing yard seasons and only two seasons where he had more than 500 yards. Brown also has a career 4.1 yards per rushing attempt. He has proven to be somewhat decent in the receiving game with 120 receptions in his seven-year career and 1,066 receiving yards to go along with only two touchdowns.
This signing should not signal much in terms of the health of Dion Lewis or their draft situation at the position. The Patriots are known to bring in many cheap veteran players and let them compete in training camp for a spot on the roster. This is a very low-risk move for the Patriots as they look to hopefully find another "diamond in the rough" as they did last off-season with Dion Lewis. New England's running back situation is a little messy, as LaGarrette Blount remains a free agent, Dion Lewis is coming off an ACL tear, and James White proved to be solid for the most part.
It's also a reunion of sorts to New England for Donald Brown, as he played his college football years at the University of Connecticut. This deal would presumably be for very little money and right now, Brown can't be seen as more than a training camp body looking to crack the Patriots' 53-man roster. He is far from a sure thing, but at 28-years-old, Brown may still serve useful in a very limited role for the team if he is with them in September.