The Patriots added some speed to their offensive arsenal yesterday.

Running back Leon Washington signed a one-year contract, and he’ll be able to fill a couple of roles. Offensively, Washington is more of a change-of-pace back, similar to free agent Danny Woodhead.

The Pats could use Washington for depth purposes if Shane Vereen continues to emerge the way he did late last season. Or, Washington could fit into the mix if things go sour with Jeff Demps, who wants to be a two-sport athlete and has turned his focus to track this offseason.

The 5-foot-8, 203-pounder didn’t get much work last season with the Seattle Seahawks with career lows of 23 carries, 83 yards and four receptions.

Washington, who turns 31 in August, is also a dynamic kick returner, and his eight touchdowns are tied for the NFL record with Josh Cribbs. That is particularly important because the Patriots ranked 25th in kickoff return average last season and 29th in 2011.

Washington and the Pats struck a deal during his day-long visit to Foxboro. Last night, he tweeted “Let’s go Pats” with a photo of himself in a Pats hat at Gillette Stadium.

Abraham to visit

With Washington and wide receiver Danny Amendola in the fold, the Patriots will turn to the other side of the ball. They’ll host defensive end John Abraham and safety Adrian Wilson on visits today, according to multiple reports. Of course, it’s possible the Pats have met with other defensive players under the radar, but these are the most high-profile targets since free agency started.