NEW YORK - The New York Jets signed free-agent running back Jesse Chatman to a one-year deal Sunday.
Chatman, out of football in 2006, ran for a career-high 515 yards and a touchdown for Miami last season and caught 27 passes for 161 yards.
"Jesse chose New York because he has a past relationship with a couple of the coaches and feels that it's a great opportunity," agent Brett Tessler said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.
The signing, first reported by the Palm Beach Post, gives the Jets depth at the running back position behind Thomas Jones and Leon Washington. Chatman, 28, worked with Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer when the two were with the San Diego Chargers.
Chatman became the Dolphins' starting running back after Ronnie Brown was sidelined for the season by a knee injury in Week 7. His best game came in a 13-10 loss to Buffalo in Week 10, when he ran for a career-high 124 yards on 27 carries.
The 5-foot-8, 220-pound Chatman spent his first three NFL seasons with San Diego from 2002-04, but was released by the Chargers in July 2005. He signed with the Dolphins before that season, but was traded to New Orleans after being inactive for the first five games. Chatman was then inactive for three games with the Saints before they also released him.
After sitting out a year and losing 60 pounds, Chatman was again signed by the Dolphins and revived his NFL career.
The signing continues the Jets' spending spree this offseason. They have traded for defensive tackle Kris Jenkins, traded linebacker Jonathan Vilma to New Orleans for draft picks, and signed guard Alan Faneca, linebacker Calvin Pace, fullback Tony Richardson and offensive lineman Damien Woody.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press