The Chargers signed former Patriots running back Danny Woodhead to a two-year contract with the hope that the 5'8", 200-pound versatile veteran will fill a hole that emerged with the loss of Darren Sproles to New Orleans after the 2010 season.
Woodhead, like Sproles, and frequently referred to as "the poor-man's Sproles", is a jack-of-all-trades who has proven to be effective rushing, catching, returning kicks, and blocking.
The 28-year old Woodhead has played five seasons in the NFL; two with the New York Jets and the past three with the Patriots.
Career-wise, Woodhead has rushed 265 times for 1,263 yards, and ten touchdowns, caught 100 passes for 1,069 yards and four touchdowns; and has returned 23 kicks for 496 yards.
In 2012, Woodhead carried the ball 76 times for 301 yards and four touchdowns, and caught 40 passes for 446 yards and three touchdowns. To put these stats into perspective, the Chargers scored only four rushing touchdowns last season.
Woodhead is expected to complement Ryan Mathews in the backfield as well as giving the Chargers' offense the much-missed screen option used successfully with Sproles.
Comparison between Woodhead and Sproles is inevitable given their size and quickness, and their production numbers are very similar. From 2006-2009, during the height of Sproles' time in San Diego, the Chargers were among the top teams in the NFL, topping the AFC West all four years as well as winning three postseason games -- something they had not done since 1994.
Chargers' GM Tom Telesco calls Woodhead smart, tough, and passionate and sees him as an upgrade for the Chargers' struggling offense.
The Chargers also re-signed Ronnie Brown to a one-year deal. Jackie Battle and Curtis Brinkley remain unrestricted free agents at this time.