The Chargers have agreed to a two-year deal with former New England Patriots running back Danny Woodhead, the team announced today.
“We are really excited to add Danny to our football team,” said General Manager Tom Telesco. “Not only does he add a different dynamic to our offense, but he has all the intangible qualities that we are looking for in the players who we want to become San Diego Chargers. Danny is smart, he’s tough and he has a passion for the game. We feel his versatility and playmaking ability will be an upgrade for our offense.”
The 5-8, 200-pounder from Chadron State was a jack-of-all-trades for the Patriots. In 2012, he was their second-leading rusher with 76 carries, 301 yards and four touchdowns, while catching 40 passes for 446 yards and three scores and returning a pair of kickoffs for 43 additional yards.
A two-time winner of the Harlon Hill Trophy, NCAA Division II’s equivalent of the Heisman Trophy, Woodhead burst onto the NFL scene in 2010 with the Patriots. He began his career with the New York Jets, signing as an undrafted rookie in 2008. He spent two years with the Jets, spending his rookie season on the “Reserve-Injured” list and splitting time his second season between the active roster and the practice squad. He was released by the Jets just after the 2010 season opener and he signed with the Patriots shortly thereafter. Woodhead played in 14 games with three starts in 2010 and averaged a franchise-record 5.64 yards per carry with 547 yards and five touchdowns on 97 carries. He also caught 34 passes for 379 yards and scored a sixth touchdown through the air. USA Today named him to its All-Joe Team after the season.
In 2011, Woodhead rushed for 351 yards and a touchdown on 77 carries, while catching 18 passes for 157 yards. He also brings a wealth of postseason experience to the Chargers. Woodhead has played in eight playoff games with three starts, including an appearance in Super Bowl XLVI vs. the New York Giants at the conclusion of the 2011 season. He scored his only career postseason touchdown in the Super Bowl.
A native of North Platte, Nebraska, the 28-year-old Woodhead is a former Nebraska Gatorade Player of the Year and a two-time High School Male Athlete of the Year by the Omaha World-Herald and the Lincoln Journal. At Chadron State he set several NCAA records, including career all-purpose yards (7,962) and single season rushing yards (2,756 in 2006).
Woodhead becomes the fifth unrestricted free agent from another team to sign or agree to terms with the Chargers. He joins tackle King Dunlap (Philaelphia), guard Chad Rinehart (Buffalo), tight end John Phillips (Dallas) and cornerback Derek Cox (Jacksonville). The Chargers also re-signed kicker Nick Novak and long snapper Mike Windt to four-year deals, while re-signing exclusive rights free agent wide receiver and kick return specialist Richard Goodman for one year.