The Philadelphia Eagles pulled off a bit of a coup on Thursday, landing running back Darren Sproles from the New Orleans Saints in exchange for a fifth-round pick. The team has worked quickly to lock Sproles up for the foreseeable future, signing him to a two-year contract extension on Friday.
The 30-year-old running back was already under contract for $3.5 million in 2014, which was the final year of his deal. The new three-year deal is reportedly worth $10.5 million. The Eagles are in a good spot with the salary cap, so they didn’t need to re-work Sproles’ deal. That means they clearly feel he’s a great fit for Chip Kelly’s offense.
Sproles will operate as LeSean McCoy’s backup at running back, but it’s a safe assumption that Kelly will find ways to use both guys on the field at the same time.
Sproles just finished his eighth NFL season and has consistently been one of the league’s most versatile weapons out of the backfield and on special teams. In 2011 he set the NFL record for most all-purpose yards in an NFL season with 2,696.
In 2013, Sproles rushed for 220 yards on 53 carries (4.2 yards per carry), while hauling in 71 receptions for 604 yards. He had four touchdowns and a total of 1,273 all-purpose yards.
Yes, Sproles’ numbers have been aided by playing in New Orleans, where the Saints’ offense has racked up ridiculous numbers over his three seasons with the team. But while Nick Foles isn’t the same kind of quarterback Drew Brees is, the Eagles certainly have an emerging offense.
I’m not an Eagles fan, but I’m actually fairly excited to see how Sproles fits in Kelly’s up-tempo scheme.