UConn football’s all-time leader in rushing yards is looking for a new home in the NFL, as the Boston Herald is reporting that Donald Brown was released by the New England Patriots with an injury settlement.
Brown was signed by the Patriots this offseason to a contract that included a $300,000 signing bonus, an amount usually reserved for players expected to make the team. At the start of training camp, Brown was getting reps with the Patriots’ first-team offense but came down with an unknown injury and missed the next three weeks. He had a chance to make the roster, especially with top RB Dion Lewis starting the season on the PUP list, opening a spot on the roster. The Patriots love versatility, and Brown has the skills to run between the tackles and catch the ball out of the backfield.
Since he was released with an injury settlement, Brown’s injury is likely severe enough to keep him out for a while. The team didn’t want to use a roster spot on him, but Brown did not want to be placed on injured reserve. This gives him a chance to get healthy and look for a new team at some point during the season.
At UConn, Brown holds the single-season record for rushing yards in a season with 2,083, and has the most career rushing yards with 3,800.
Brown was a first-round pick of the Indianapolis Colts in 2009, and while he was a solid player, has yet to live up to his first-round billing. He played out his rookie contract and then signed with San Diego, where he dealt with injuries and inconsistent playing time.
When he signed with the Patriots, many believed he had a chance to revive his career, especially with the dearth of talent in the Patriots backfield. Now, he’ll need to focus on healing and hope another team calls for his services.