The Darren Sproles offseason saga finally came to a close this morning with the Saints shipping him off to Philadelphia where he'll join Malcolm Jenkins. I'm a little surprised the Saints kept him in the NFC, but Sproles can't be too angry as it's a great offensive fit for his skills and he joins a good team that was in the playoffs a year ago. The Saints will get a 5th round draft pick in return for Sproles, but the drama reached an all time high yesterday. After Sproles explicitly states he much preferred to be released rather than traded, things took a turn for the worst when his wife used social media to go on a tirade against the Saints.
Sproles leaves the Saints after three very strong years of performance, including 2011 when he broke the all time NFL record for all purpose yards, a record that still stands.
Sproles has had over 70 receptions in each of his seasons with the Saints and he averaged 6.35 yards per carry during his time in black and gold. There's no question in my mind this is a big loss for the offense and Brees will have to find a new favorite security valve. Sproles is 5'6", 30 years old and he had a bum ankle for the second half of last season which made his largely inaffective. It remains to be seen how long he can continue to make a meaningful impact in the league. I have no doubt he will be a scary weapon in that Eagles offense, though.
On a personal note, Sproles was one of the more exciting players to watch I have seen in a Saints uniform in my lifetime. He kind of brought a Michael "Beerman" Lewis element to his game, except he was infinitely better. Thanks for the memories #43 and best of luck to you!
And in case you missed it, while the Saints do say goodbye to Sproles, the good news is they will keep Pierre Thomas!