Friday, 29 July 2011 15:15

Will Sproles Joining New Orleans Saints Mean Bye To Pierre Thomas?

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Chargers running back Darren Sproles will be joining the Saints as a Reggie Bush replacement.

Now, the question is, how does he fit into the New Orleans Saints’s backfield and does this move signal and end for any of the existing Saints players, such as Pierre Thomas?

 Sproles agreed to a four year deal on Thursday that will pay him $4 million a year. Sproles was the second-highest paid running back in the NFL the past two years, his $13.9 million trailing only Bush. His contract will pay him slightly more over  its duration ($14 million) than he made in the past two seasons. Approximately $6 million of that is guaranteed.

The Chargers wanted to keep the dynamic and diminutive running back, but they were resigned to losing him because they did not need him enough to compete financially.

 In his time in San Diego, he made a number of highlight-reel plays, practically won a few games against the Colts by himself.

Sproles touched the ball fewer than eight times per game from scrimmage over the past two seasons. Since 2009, he scored six touchdowns, carrying 143 times for 610 yards and caught 104 passes for 1,017 yards.

SOME hither, others yon: Here's's take on the Darren Sproles signing: "We love it. For all the hype about Bush as a valuable chess piece for Sean Payton and Drew Brees, the Saints have averaged more yards and points with him out of the lineup. Empirically, Sproles is a more elusive and backfield receiver and is the top receiving back, averaging more than 10 yards per catch the past three years.  Payton uses his backfield full of specialists, but it's hard to see how this signing won’t affect Pierre Thomas, given the already existing backfield talent and the recent drafting of Mark Ingram.

SAINTS NOTEBOOK:  The following Saints have agreed to terms: Lance Moore, Jermon Bushrod, Scott Shanlee, Leigh Torrence, Chris Reis and Jo-Lom Dunbar. Usama Young and Remi  Ayodele have agreed to terms with other teams... The drafted rookies are unsigned and the UFAs did not report. Sean Payton said new DT Shaun Rodgers did well on the conditioning test...Payton on Sproles: "He is an exceptional talent He is very versatile and dynamic."...

Ed Staton

Ed Staton is a former sports writer for the Times Picayune and New Orleans States Item.  He also served as the New Orleans Saints Information Director.  He has won 43 media awards in writing, design and photography. | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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