Moving to upgrade their depth behind Ahman Green at running back, the Green Bay Packers have agreed to terms on a two-year contract with former Baltimore Raven Jason Brookins, GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman announced today.
Brookins had become a free agent on May 20 when the Ravens rescinded their "exclusive rights" contract offer to the second-year professional.
The 26-year-old Lane College alumnus was the Ravens' second-leading rusher as a first-year player in 2001 - in both the regular season and the playoffs - following the season-ending knee injury suffered by starter Jamal Lewis during the preseason. He gained 551 yards in 151 attempts, a 3.6-yard average, and scored 5 touchdowns while starting 3 of 12 games during the regular season. Brookins also caught 6 passes for 45 yards, a 7.5-yard average, and had one kickoff return for 23 yards.
In Baltimore's two postseason games, he rushed 14 times for 71 yards, a 5.1-yard average, and posted one pass reception for 3 yards.
Brookins, 6-2 and 235 pounds, is expected to compete with returning third-year pros Rondell Mealey and Herbert "Whisper" Goodman, currently a standout for the Scottish Claymores in the NFL Europe League, for the backup role behind Green.
The Mexico, Mo., native originally signed with the Ravens as a rookie free agent on April 21, 2000. Subsequently waived late in the preseason, he was signed to the practice squad August 26, 2000. Brookins later was released from the practice squad, then signed with Oakland's practice squad on October 4, 2000. Released by Oakland, he was signed to Jacksonville's practice squad on November 9, 2000.
Brookins rejoined the Ravens February 12, 2001, signing on as a free agent, and was assigned to the Rhein Fire of the NFLEL. He spent five weeks on injured reserve with a hand injury before being activated and gaining 115 yards on 39 carries, with one touchdown. He also had 7 receptions for 104 yards.
Brookins earlier completed a standout, two-year career at Lane College with 273 attempts for 1,600 rushing yards and 6 touchdowns, plus 42 receptions for 544 yards and 6 additional TDs. He had transferred from Kemper Military School and (Junior) College, where he earned Junior College All-America honors, rushing for 2,395 yards and 25 touchdowns in two seasons, including 1,444 yards and 18 TDs as a sophomore in 1997.
Brookins previously had starred at Mexico (Mo.) High School, shattering all of the school's rushing records.