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Projecting Joseph Addai's Role with the New England Patriots

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 4:  Joseph Addai #29 of the Indianapolis Colts is stopped by  Vince Wilfork #75 of the New England Patriots in the second half at Gillette Stadium on December 4, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
Aaron DodgeAnalyst IMay 5, 2012

According to Mike Chapell, a veteran Indianapolis Colts beat reporter, the New England Patriots have agreed to terms with free agent running back Joseph Addai:

Peyton manning breaks news. Says Joe Addai signing with Patriots. Great, great fit for Joe

— Mike Chappell (@mchappell51) May 5, 2012

However, Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com is quick to point out the fact that there has not yet been any official word from the team.

"It is important to note that the Patriots have not confirmed the signing, and until the contract is turned in, anything can happen," wrote Reiss.

Not to discredit Chappell as a source, but there's still some time before this move likely becomes official.

If and when that happens, New England signed themselves a really solid player.

Addai is aging, but he has plenty of mileage left at 29 years of age. Patriots fans should be quite familiar with his frame and playing style, but in case you aren't, Addai is 5'11'' and weighs in at 214.

He's not a pounder and won't break many tackles, but that's not his game. Addai runs the 40 with 4.4 speed and makes his yardage with shifty footwork.

Don't let the wording fool you though, his shifty feet are much different than Laurence Maroney's.

Maroney was selected nine picks ahead of Addai in the 2006 draft, and it's taken six years for New England to get another shot at making the right call.

Addai is the owner of a 4.1 yards-per-carry average, has lost only five fumbles in six seasons and is adept in pass-protection and receiving.

This is the veteran signing I've been talking about all offseason. In fact, I named-dropped Addai as a possibility in a piece nearly a month ago.

This signing would take pressure and responsibility off of Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley, whom the team will likely want to earn whatever snaps they get in 2012.

Addai would join undrafted free agent Brandon Bolden as additions to the backfield following the loss of BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Much as the team has done with the wide-receiving corps, the running-back depth chart is now flush with talent, experience and potential.

Danny Woodhead, Kevin Faulk and the fullback grouping deserve some mention here too, but none of the above fits the mold of a between-the-tackles runner.

That featured role seems completely up for grabs right now.

 

Check out more of Aaron Dodge's work

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Reaction to Seau's Passing

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