After a 2013 season that saw Donald Brown post a career-high 5.3 yards per carry for the Indianapolis Colts, the University of Connecticut product is on his way to a new team.
The Chargers made it official via Twitter:
Brown also took to Twitter to say goodbye to Indianapolis:
#ColtsNation and the great city of Indianapolis. It was an absolute honor and pleasure playing for the shoe. Thanks for the memories.— Donald Brown (@Donaldb31) March 12, 2014
Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network and NFL.com first alerted fans to the news:
Donald Brown is signing with the #Chargers, per source.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 12, 2014
Pro Football Talk provided the contract deals, comparing Brown’s signing with the contract of Minnesota Vikings running back Toby Gerhart:
Donald Brown's deal with Chargers is Gerhart-esque -- three years, $10.5 million, $4 million guaranteed, per source.— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) March 12, 2014
Brown tallied 537 yards rushing, 214 yards receiving and eight total touchdowns in the 2013 campaign for the Colts. He played in all 16 regular-season games and found the end zone more times in an individual year than he had at any other point in his career.
However, the Indianapolis backfield was crowded with the re-signing of Ahmad Bradshaw and the presence of Trent Richardson, which opened up a certain degree of competition, as general manager Ryan Grigson said to reporters at the combine (via Mike Wells of ESPN.com):
It's the best players play. Iron sharpens iron. We're still going to beat the drum on that. You guys will get tired of hearing that, but that's just how we roll and how our head coach rolls. We're going to try to have the most competition at each position group and whoever wins that spot is going to be the starter and it's who is going to get us to that next level, which is Super Bowl XLIX and that's the mindset. You're either all in or all out.
Interestingly enough, Brown chose to go to another crowded backfield in San Diego. Clearly, though, the Chargers were impressed enough with what they saw from Brown in Indianapolis to sign him to a multiyear deal.
Looking forward, the Chargers already have Ryan Mathews and Danny Woodhead in the fold.
That means Brown will have to compete for playing time from the get-go, although from the Chargers’ perspective, adding more depth at such a grueling position is certainly a plus.