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Chargers sign RB Ronnie Brown to one-year deal

By Ryan Wilson | CBSSports.com
Brown joins the Chargers' backfield. (US PRESSWIRE)
The Chargers let Mike Tolbert leave via free agency and Ronnie Brown, who was signed by the team to a one-year deal Friday, will help mitigate that loss. Brown, along with fullback Le'Ron McClain, will serve as backups to Ryan Mathews, the 2010 first-round pick who gained 1,091 yards on the ground and added 455 receiving yards last season.

Brown, the second-overall pick of the Dolphins in 2005, was hampered by serious knee injuries in 2007 and 2009. And in 2010, his last in Miami, he rushed for just 734 yards on 200 carries despite starting all 16 games.

Last August, days after the lockout ended and while the Eagles were furiously signing and trading players -- but still before Vince Young made his ill-fated "Dream Team" comments -- the Eagles signed Brown to add depth behind LeSean McCoy. He finished the year with 136 yards on 42 attempts (3.2 YPC), a touchdown and this "Wait, what just happened?!" pass-fumble at the goal line in a Week 4 loss to the 49ers.

The Eagles tried to send Brown to the Lions for Jerome Harrison in October, but the trade was voided a day later after Harrison failed his physical. It was later discovered that Harrison had a brain tumor.

Despite this assessment from former Eagles' scout Daniel Jeremiah -- "[Brown] didn't have any juice last year, no burst" -- he should be adequate as a No. 2 or No. 3 option behind Mathews in a Chargers backfield short on depth.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and subscribe to our Pick-6 Podcast and NFL newsletter. You can follow Ryan Wilson on Twitter here: @ryanwilson_07.
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