Morning links: Thumbs down on Brown

Good morning. Bill Barnwell of Grantland is not a fan of the San Diego Chargers signing running back Donald Brown. Barnwell believes adding talent to a leaky defense should be a priority, the Chargers had enough depth already at the position and could have gotten a cheaper alternative with a similar skill set.

I disagree. Brown is a good fit for San Diego’s offense, and with Ryan Mathews and Danny Woodhead set to hit the market after the 2014 season, he offers some insurance.

Barnwell: “San Diego is right up against the cap and desperate for contributors on defense. They’re not the deepest team on offense, but the one place they seemed to be set for 2014 is at running back, where they could serve up a cost-effective combination of Ryan Mathews and Danny Woodhead for $3.75 million in 2015. So why did they make their sole foray into free agency on Tuesday a trip to sign Brown, who was a competent running back for the Colts last year, but is hardly somebody who will represent a significant upgrade over the backs they already have? Brown might very well start for the team in 2015, but the Chargers might very well have waited and gotten Brown — or somebody just as good as Brown — for a fraction of the cost.”

Jordan Beane of Chargers.com talks with new San Diego tight end David Johnson in this video.

Kevin Acee of U-T San Diego says he’s glad that Chargers general manager Tom Telesco is not overeating to all of the moves in free agency the Denver Broncos are making.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that former Chargers running back Darren Sproles has been traded from New Orleans to Philadelphia for a fifth round pick.

Schefter also reports that the Carolina Panthers will release receiver Steve Smith on Thursday (today).

Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean reports that Chargers backup quarterback Charlie Whitehurst is visiting the Titans on Thursday, possibly rejoining former San Diego offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt in Tennessee to backup Jake Locker.