The Chargers signed Donald Brown to a three-year, $10.5 million deal, which includes $4 million in guaranteed money, which is more than a number of higher-profile free agents going to teams with greater needs received this offseason. According to ESPN.com's Eric D. Williams, Brown is a good fit for San Diego's zone running scheme, with his one-cut, downhill running style.
The Chargers have both Ryan Mathews and Danny Woodhead under contract for another season. Together, they combined for nearly 2,500 yards from scrimmage last season, with Mathews playing a full 16-game schedule for the first time in his career.
Despite the strong finish, the run game hit the wall in the playoffs as Mathews dealt with a high-ankle sprain. That struggle may have been enough to convince the Chargers to add another body in the backfield, as Woodhead is a better fit as a change-of-pace back (76 receptions last season) than an every-down force. Brown has never accumulated more than 134 rushing attempts in any of his five NFL seasons to date, but he should be able to step in alongside Woodhead should Mathews revert to his injury-plagued ways or in a role similar to the one Ronnie Brown played year -- a hybrid of Mathews' workhorse and Woodhead's receiving threat.