On the heels of trading for veteran running back LeGarrette Blount a few weeks ago, the Patriots appear to still be snooping around for possible additions to their current group of running backs. This time, they are diving into the free agent pool for a look-see.
According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, New England is set to work out veteran running back Felix Jones on Thursday. In fact, Jones is actually already in town. Rap Sheet has the full scoop:
The former Dallas Cowboy and 2008 first-round selection has been a major health risk, and hasn't been a real productive player when he's healthy. In his 64 career NFL games with the Cowboys, Jones has totaled 2,768 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
Jones has had to share time with the likes of Julius Jones, Marion Barber and DeMarco Murray over his career, and has never been able to fully claim the starting gig in Dallas as Tony Romo's running back. He's served as Dallas' primary kick returner, scoring one career touchdown via a kickoff return. However, he's considered below average at both positions.
As for the Patriots bringing in Jones for a visit, I can only characterize them as the Patriots being the Patriots. They bring in veteran players all the time for visits like these, even when there is no need at all. (Remember when they brought in Dallas Clark last summer for a workout?)
The only ways I see Jones being signed is if Stevan Ridley isn't actually 100% after his concussion at the end of last year, or if the Patriots think Jones can help out as a pass catching option out of the backfield. He has averaged 8.3 yards per reception over his career. With Danny Woodhead, the team's best pass catching back this past season, signing with San Diego, we could see Jones try and step in and try and at least try to replicate Woodhead's numbers in that role.
Either way you look at it, this is most likely the Patriots bringing in a veteran player to evaluate in case of an injury to their current group.