Saints will trade Darren Sproles to Eagles

Chris Graythen

The speedy running back may have preferred a release over a trade, but landing in the prolific Philly offense isn't that bad of a deal. SB Nation's GIF Tournament V

LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, Riley Cooper, Jeremy Maclin… and Darren Sproles. As if the Philadelphia Eagles' offense wasn't already loaded with dangerous weapons, it appears they've swung a deal to bring the shifty New Orleans Saints running back into the fold. Sources have told Adam Schefter of ESPN that the two teams have agreed on a trade that will send Sproles to Philly in exchange for a 2014 fifth-round draft pick.

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports that the deal will be officially announced sometime on Thursday.

It was thought earlier in the week that the Saints were on the verge of releasing the 30-year-old Sproles, who will carry a $3.5 million cap hit in 2014. An ESPN report on Tuesday countered that by stating the team planned on trading the diminutive back, an announcement that surprised even Sproles.

That news did not sit well with ten-year vet, who told ESPN's Josina Anderson that he would rather be cut.

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"I want to get released," Sproles said. "I don't want to be traded. I don't know where they would send me because I have no control over it and I want to be able to pick. The good thing is none of the teams I'm told they're talking to are terrible."

Sproles wife didn't take it any better, unleashing a sprawling Instagram tirade bashing the Saints and threatening a "Compton curse out."

Whether Sproles and his other half like it or not, it's a good move by New Orleans, who would much rather get some form of compensation than simply cutting him free.

Not that Sproles can be too upset with the landing spot. After spending the last three seasons in the prolific Drew Brees-led Saints offense, he heads to a Philly unit that ranked second in the league in yards and fourth in points last season under the surging Nick Foles.

A dangerous receiver out of the backfield, Sproles has historically done most of his work through the air (he's had more yards receiving than rushing in all but his first two seasons in the league), which should make him a perfect fit in a Chip Kelly offense predicated on getting playmakers in space. Kelly is particularly fond of using his backs in the screen game, which is Sproles's specialty. As a point of reference, McCoy, a dangerous receiver himself, was third on the team in receptions last season. Since 2011, only two running backs have had at least 150 catches and eight receiving touchdowns: Sproles and McCoy.

The Eagles are making it a point of emphasis to keep their explosive offense intact this offseason. They've extended left tackle Jason Peters, re-signed Cooper and Maclin and squashed the resulting Jackson trade rumors. Adding Sproles means they'll be that much more dangerous next season.

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