It is the time of the NFL free agency, and while most teams are signing and releasing players, Darren Sproles was involved in a recent trade that sent him to the Philadelphia Eagles.
The veteran Saints running back was sent to the Eagles in exchange for a fifth round draft pick, which does not seem like much, but sometimes late picks in the draft can turn out to be stars in the NFL.
Darren Sproles has been an effective running back for the New Orleans Saints, but as a team that tends to rotate between him and Pierre Thomas, and sometimes a third back, they do not seem to rely on him as much as they did previously.
Philadelphia seems like a bit of an odd place for him to land with the strength that they already have at the running back position with LeSean McCoy, who was the NFL's leading rusher in 2013. However, he can be used as a receiver as well, and is an offensive threat in multiple ways.
Eagles coach Chip Kelly spoke about the addition of Darren Sproles when saying "He can do it all -- run, catch -- plus he's a proven winner. And on top of that, he can bring all of those dynamic skills to the return game as well. There is no question we were all excited once we found out we were going to be able to trade for him."
Before the trade, Darren Sproles had expressed his frustration with the team, but said that he would want to be released by the Saints, rather than traded. Several offensive weapons have been released, and signed recently, while some receivers such as Steve Smith of the Carolina Panthers are still available.
In addition to picking up Sproles in a trade, the Philadelphia Eagles signed a two-year deal with former Miami Dolphins cornerback Nolan Carroll. They also signed Malcolm Jenkins, a safety who used to play with the Saints.
I'm excited about being a part of the @Eagles organization! Thank you New Orleans for 3 great years!
— Darren Sproles (@DarrenSproles) March 13, 2014
After barely making the playoffs last year, the Eagles will look to improve in every aspect of their game, and take control of the NFC East in 2014. They had one of the most explosive offenses last year, but the thing they needed to improve on most was their defense, which ranked 29th in the league last season.
In his past three seasons with the New Orleans Saints, Darren Sproles had a total of 1,067 rushing yards, 1,981 receiving yards and 21 touchdowns. In previous seasons, the Saints were one of the dominant teams in the league, and he was able to set an NFL record for all-purpose yards in a season, reaching a total of 2,696 in 2011.
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