The Eagles added a dynamic playmaker to their offense when they acquired running back Darren Sproles last month in a trade with the Saints. However, prior to landing Sproles, the team looked into trading for a younger back, according to Geoff Mosher of CSNPhilly.com. Mosher reports that the Eagles contacted the Bills in the hopes of trading for running back C.J. Spiller. However, Buffalo wasn’t interested in moving Spiller, so Philadelphia never made a formal offer.
Mosher’s report isn’t exactly groundbreaking, since it’s not as if the Bills are shopping Spiller — the Eagles asked and Buffalo essentially shot them down. Still, it shows that Philadelphia didn’t simply trade for Sproles because the opportunity fell into the team’s lap. Sproles became available relatively cheaply when it seemed as if New Orleans was leaning toward releasing him, but even before then, the Eagles were exploring ways to add playmakers to their offense.
Sproles, 30, is a better receiver than Spiller, having caught more passes in the last two seasons (146) than Spiller has in his entire four-year NFL career (139). However, Spiller, who turns 27 in August, is the more dangerous runner, having accumulated 2,177 yards on the ground on just 409 carries over the last two seasons — good for an average of 5.3 yards per carry.
As Sproles prepares to make his debut in Philadelphia, Spiller is set to split the Bills’ backfield workload with Fred Jackson again in 2014. Spiller, who is due to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2015 season, is owed a base salary of about $3.5MM in 2014 and $2.2MM in 2015.