Chargers sign Danny Woodhead


The Patriots held onto cornerback Kyle Arrington, but another one of the team’s free agents has flown the coop.

Mike Reiss of reports that running back Danny Woodhead has agreed to terms on a two-year contract with the Chargers. He’ll join Ryan Mathews in the Chargers backfield and, if past usage is any indication, he’ll also play a role as a receiver for Philip Rivers. If things work out perfectly, he’ll give San Diego’s offense some of what they’ve missed since Darren Sproles left for New Orleans and provide new head coach Mike McCoy with a versatile weapon on offense.

New England was thought to have some interest in a Woodhead return, but the addition of Leon Washington might have taken up the roster spot and role that Woodhead filled in recent seasons. With Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen also in New England, heading to San Diego probably offered Woodhead a shot at more playing time anyway in 2013.

Regardless of who winds up replacing him, the departure of Woodhead is another sign that the Patriots are looking to shuffle the deck this season after falling short in the AFC Championship Game.

UPDATE 2:25 p.m. ET: The Chargers have announced the deal.

77 responses to “Chargers sign Danny Woodhead

  1. As a Pats fan I wish Danny well. Chargers got a great person and good teammate. Gonna miss seeing him hide behind lineman and squeak out key plays.

  2. I haven’t seen the numbers so I can’t say whether it was worth it or not, but Rivers hasn’t been the same since he lost Sproles, and although Woodhead is no Sproles, he will be much better on 3rd downs than Mathews. This is just another indication that the team is not sold on Mathews being a 3 down back. Rebuilding time is upon us in Charger land, but Woodhead should help ease the pain of having to watch Mathews blow pass protection on 3rd downs over and over.

  3. Chargers got a nice pickup. Woodhead is a clutch player. Very fast, great hands, and a scrappy blocker in spite of his size. He can even run between the tackles pretty well, but he’s better at draws and running out of the shotgun.

    Surprised we didn’t re-sign him, but I guess they’re happy with Vereen and Washington playing that role. I think Charger fans will be very happy with Woodhead, he shouldn’t cost much.

  4. Love Danny but the writing was on the wall. Wish this guy the best of luck. He is an awesome person and player.

  5. Pats have so many weapons on O at this point, that cutting 1 loose will allow another player to sit on the bench instead of standing while the D is on the field.

  6. Looks like Belichick thinks he can win it all with Brady, Gronkowski and Hernandez against the world.

  7. Good for Danny, gutsey, scrappy player the Pats got for nothing(thanks jets). Pats needed to upgrade on KO returns(can’t count on Demps) and Washington should be able to fill Woodhead’s role along with Vereen.

  8. The writing was kinda on the wall regarding Wes.. but this one is a real loss for New England. Good luck out there Danny!

  9. Good luck, Danny. I think I can say this for all Patriots fans: Your skills and your attitude were greatly appreciated. You’ll be missed. We wish you the best of luck in all of your games (against opponents other than the Pats).

  10. 250 carries for 1,199 yards and 92 catches for 982 yards in his time in New England. Not bad for an undrafted free agent. Hard to believe the Patriots couldn’t afford to keep him.

  11. Gonna miss Woody. But I think NE is looking to get bigger on offense. Less dink and dunk and more downfield attack.

  12. Let me be the first to welcome San Diego to the bottom of the AFC West. Better start making some better moves than this!!! Jamaal Charles > your entire backfield combined

  13. My woodhead bobble head stopped bobbling. Ill miss the guy a lot. Best of luck in san diego. Guy is an asset to any team

  14. This is really kinda sad (as a Pats fan). This guy did nothing but play hard during his tenure in N.E. A terrific little situational RB. I understand the Pats doing this (lots of RB depth) but he did nothing warrent “moving on” with him.
    Can catch the ball, a willing blocker and better between-the-tackles runner than you’d think.
    Best of luck, Woody.

  15. This is a great pick-up by the Chargers, and the second FA game changer picked up over the past few days. (CB Cox being the other FA). Now, just give them a competent LT, speed receiver to stretch the field, and they may have a chance at beating projected 4-12 season.

  16. Nice pick up..I’m sure the Pats could have kept him..just like they could have kept Welker


  18. Really sad to see him go.

    You got a great team player, Chargers fans.

    He’ll be missed in New England.

  19. Chargers got the white Darren Sproles!

    In all seriousness though, Woodhead was an awesome story coming out the draft so I’ve been rooting for him.

    I hope he continues to thrive with the Chargers and can carve out a niche there like he did with the Patriots.

  20. Rives should like this signing because he fulfills the role Darren Sproiles held with the Chargers, similar build and he can provide the option out of the backfield that Darren provided through his tenure with the Chargers.

  21. The Chargers got themselves a good little player… He can catch passes and pick up yards on the run.

    Leon Washington replaces Woodhead’s production and is a better returner, but every Patriots fan is still sorry to see him go

  22. Strange when at first blush Danny Woodhead would seem naturally to fit best playing for Woody Johnson and his team.

  23. Love this move for the Bolts, this guy, very simply, is a gamer. And everybody knows it. Don’t feel sorry you Pat. BTW, Ellis Hobbs still sucks!

  24. Amusing how many iddddiots are out there. Pats already have players on O they did not have year. Amendola, Washington, Ballard, Demps, and that dude from Buffalo. Plus they’re also kicking the tires on Emmanuel. They want to get bigger and stronger.

    Vereen and Ridley also came into their own last year as did Brandon Bolden.

    Sheesh! Still too many weapons.

  25. Whether you love, hate, or just don’t care about The Pats, you have to respect Woodhead. To go as far as he has with the body he was born with is a small miracle. Never seen a guy so small play so big. The Spud Webb of the NFL. Good luck, Danny.

  26. Good for Danny. I’m thrilled he got another job. He gave the Pats 3 years of great production, thanks to Jets FO stupidity. The Chargers get a great role player who can play plenty of roles. Would have loved to have had him back, but with Vareen, Demps, and now Washington, his skills had become redundant. SD fans will love him and his play.

  27. Woodhead is awesome…amazing pickup…should help Chargers a ton….The guy has great vision and runs hard..Congrads Danny….

  28. Awww, man. Really disappointed to see him go and personally I’d have preferred we kept him instead of singing Washington.

    Woodhead is a real team guy. He’s not a #1 back but he’s a tough player, no ego, and does whatever it takes to help his team win even if what it takes is being quiet and letting another guy get reps. I wish him all the best in San Diego!!

  29. I moved to New England 5 years ago and over that time fell in love with 3 of your professional athletes; Ray Allen, Wes Welker and minnie-Welker, Danny Woodhead.

    Can’t wait to do something constructive with all the time I gain not watching the Celtics or the Patriots.

  30. I’m afraid to look at this site anymore.

    Thankfully I have the entire spring and summer to get over what is going to be a radically different roster for the Patriots.

    Parting is such sweet…ah…screw it.

  31. I’m going to miss Woodhead. He was an integral art of the 2 minute offense and had the trust of BB in many game situations.

    Can’t say it was surprising since they signed Washington, but I still would have loved to keep him.

  32. The best story I’ve ever read about Woodbead is that he took the player off the top of his first Harlon Hill trophy so he could use it as a stool to sit on while playing video games with his brothers. This guy is the epitome of the blue collar, lunch pail, no ego player. I’m not a Pats or Bolts fan but I like the kid as both a person and a player.

  33. The old line about really just rooting for jerseys sure is true of N.E. any more. There’s Brady, Gronk and Hernandez left…and the latter two are hurt most of the time.

  34. I’ll echo what other Pats fans have said and what I said to Bengals fans about BJGE: class person, will never let you down on or off the field.
    There were quite a few times that the Pats O bogged down and in came Woodhead and got things going. Clutch player. I wish him well.

  35. Good luck to Woody!! Tough kid that played with a ton of grit. Hate to see a guy go that went out and did his job well every Sunday!

  36. Not sure why you re-tool a team that lost the AFC championship to the SB winner and was in the SB the year before. Seems like BB is trying to show he can win fielding some guys he found at the YMCA. Loyalty and heart count for nothing with BB and Mr. Crafty. Gronkowski, Hernandez, and Amendola will all be on IR by week 6. There won’t be another ring for Brady.

    Comment about rooting for jerseys is right on, I’m feeling less enthusiastic about the Pats every minute. Getting rid of fan favorites, Kraft’s comments supporting Goodell, etc. are really rubbing me the wrong way.

  37. Mr Woodhead: I doubt you’ll ever read this, but this Patriots fan wants to say thank you for being everything we could have asked of you. Best of luck. c

  38. Really tough guy.

    Hope he does well but the Chargers still suck, even after the media reminds us they’re a “team to watch” just like the last 8 years.

  39. Danny Woodhead was – like Wes Welker – a talented, gusty, tough as nails player who could pull off a big play when you needed one most.

    Both guys were get-it-done clutch players, and that’s why both were fan favorites here in New England. Very sad to see them both leave, and wish them the very best in the games ahead.

    The team may not miss them, but the fans sure will.

    You always got more than you paid for with both of these guys, and neither could be knocked down for long.

    Thanks, fella’s!

  40. Loved Danny Woodhead, and I’ll never forget his contribution against the Broncos in 2012: Converting a 3rd-and-14 and a 3rd-and-17 in the same game.

    He had so many clutch plays for the Pats in his ‘short’ time here. He’ll be missed.

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