9:23am: The Eagles have officially announced the transaction (Twitter link).
8:14am: The Eagles will send a fifth-round pick to the Saints in the deal, according to Pro Football Talk (via Twitter). According to Field Yates of ESPNBoston.com (via Twitter), it’s the pick Philadelphia had acquired from New England for Isaac Sopoaga.
7:55am: Having already re-signed Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper this offseason, Chip Kelly‘s offense in Philadelphia is adding another intriguing offensive weapon. The Eagles have reached an agreement with the Saints to acquire running back Darren Sproles in a trade, reports Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (via Twitter).
Sproles, 30, was initially expected to be cut by New Orleans this month, but when they received strong interest in trade talks for the versatile veteran, the Saints decided to trade him instead. The Redskins had reportedly been making a push to acquire Sproles, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweeted this morning, but according to the Washington Post (via Twitter), the team was reluctant to part with draft picks. In the end, the Redskins lost out on Sproles to their division rivals.
Although Sproles is technically a running back, he did most of his damage in recent years through the passing game. During his three seasons with New Orleans, the former fourth-round pick recorded 1,067 rushing yards on 188 carries, and 1,981 receiving yards on 232 receptions, with 21 total offensive TDs (five rushing, 16 receiving).
While rumors of a Sproles trade swirled this week, the running back himself expressed some frustration about learning of the talks through Twitter updates, and said yesterday that he’d prefer to be cut instead of traded, so he could control his own future. Still, despite the presence of No. 1 back LeSean McCoy in Philadelphia, it’s hard to imagine he’ll be upset with his landing spot, since he should have a great opportunity to shine in Kelly’s offense during a contract year.
The Saints will be on the hook for $750K in dead money, the amount of the prorated bonus money remaining on Sproles’ deal. For the Eagles, the running back will be owed a $3.4MM base salary, plus a $100K workout bonus, in the final year of his contract.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.