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Patriots add Donald Brown to backfield mix

The New England Patriots finally found help for their much beleaguered backfield.

Former Indianapolis Colts and San Diego Chargers running back Donald Brown signed with the Pats, the team announced on Friday. Brown's new contract is for one year, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported, via a source involved in the deal.

Brown averaged a paltry 3.14 yards per carry in San Diego the past two years after unseating Trent Richardson with a career-best 5.3 mark with the Colts in 2013.

At his most effective in the open spaces provided by shotgun draws, pitches and screen plays, Brown's skill set is best suited for a spread offense such as the one primarily used in New England. The Patriots were likely intrigued by his game tape from the regular-season finale, when he showed a Dion Lewis-like shiftiness while making multiple Broncos defenders miss tackles en route to 91 yards on 23 touches.

We suspect Brown was brought in for insurance as the ultra-elusive Lewis recovers from ACL surgery. Since Brown, Lewis and James White are all best utilized on passing downs, the Patriots still seem likely to sign or draft a power back for short-yardage and clock-killing situations.

As loaded as Tom Brady's offense already is, this team isn't done adding backfield talent.

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