When the Patriots hosted veteran running backs Joseph Addai, Ryan Grant and Tim Hightower for tryouts on April 20 (link here), the feeling was that it was a fallback plan in the event the club didn't draft a running back.
Now comes news, from the unlikely source of Peyton Manning, that the choice seems to be Addai.
We learned this via the Twitter account of Mike Chappell, the veteran Colts beat reporter, who is attending a Manning-based charity event in Indianapolis tonight. Chappell tweeted: "Peyton Manning breaks news. Says Joe Addai signing with Patriots. Great, great fit for Joe."
It is important to note that the Patriots have not confirmed the signing, and until the contract is turned in, anything can happen. But ESPNBoston.com has confirmed an agreement.
Addai offers a veteran presence to one of the youngest groups on the roster, where second-year players Shane Vereen (2011 second-round pick), Stevan Ridley (2011 third-round pick) and fifth-year player Danny Woodhead are atop the depth chart.
In 2006, the Patriots selected running back Laurence Maroney 21st overall. They also liked Addai, but after deciding Maroney was the better fit, Addai landed in Indianapolis (30th overall). Addai has spent the last six seasons with the Colts.