Should the Patriots sign Jamaal Charles to help their running game?

Debate the answer with Chad Finn and Boston sports fans at The Sports Q.

Jamaal Charles is on the move.
Jamaal Charles is on the move. –Photo by Jason Hanna/Getty Images

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The Patriots had a good running game this year (thanks again for the Super Bowl awesomeness, James White!).  But LeGarrette Blount is a free agent and pretty limited, and Dion Lewis always seems to have injury problems. Should the Patriots take a flyer on Jamaal Charles, who was cut by the Chiefs? He seems like the kind of veteran who could give them one or two good years on the cheap. – Craig R.

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First, I’d like to commend you on suggesting they sign Charles rather than Adrian Peterson, who is on the way out with the Vikings, a half-step from washed up and impossible to root for if you have a conscience.

That said … no, I can’t really see them signing Charles, for one reason: I think someone is going to pay him for past production rather than what he will be going forward, and that’s simply not something the Patriots do.

He’s been an excellent player when healthy, with five 1,000-yard seasons. He’s also regarded as a good team guy. But he’s 30 years old, has had a couple of major knee injuries, and really struggled to return to form in 2016 after suffering an ACL tear in ’15. He averaged just 3.3 yards per carry last season in three games.

Charles is a name player with a good reputation, and someone is going to give him a decent contract. It won’t be the Patriots, who went through a similar sort of thing with Fred Taylor a couple of years ago and didn’t get much production. They’re better off re-signing Blount — hey, why no love, he did have 18 touchdowns — and mixing and matching with Lewis, White, and perhaps an addition via the draft.

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What do you guys think? Sign Charles? Bring back Blount? Or is there another addition to the running game you’d like to see? Don’t even start with the Peterson stuff. I’ll see you in the comments.

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