The New England Patriots signed former Notre Dame running back Jonas Gray to a futures contract for the 2014 season, as they balance a short-term focus of preparing for the playoffs with the long-range vision of building the roster for the offseason.
The 5-foot-9, 230-pound Gray was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Dolphins in 2012. He hooked on with the Ravens' practice squad this year, where he spent all season, at one point playing the role of Vikings running back Adrian Peterson on the scout team.
The Ravens signed former Patriots practice squad running back Cierre Wood, who also played at Notre Dame, to a future contract for 2014. So essentially, the Patriots and Ravens have swapped developmental running backs from Notre Dame for 2014. Gray spent four years at Notre Dame (2008-2011), playing in 34 career games and totaling 1,100 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns on 189 carries (5.8 avg.).
Patriots running backs under contract for 2014
Note: LeGarrette Blount is scheduled to become a free agent, and Sam McGuffie, currently on the practice squad, could be a candidate to stick around as well.