New Orleans Saints Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis announced Thursday that the club has acquired an undisclosed draft pick from the Philadelphia Eagles for RB Darren Sproles.
"Darren Sproles played an important role for us on both offense and special teams for the last three seasons," said Loomis. He did everything that was asked of him in the running game, passing game and return game and did all of it well. We thank Darren for all of his contributions to our team both on and off the field and wish him the best of luck."
"Darren is one of the smartest football players I've ever been around," said Head Coach Sean Payton. "He has been exceptionally consistent and dynamic coming out of the backfield for us the last three seasons and provided us with many different options. Darren is an exceptional person and teammate and we are going to miss him but we will also fondly remember his time as a member of the Saints and we thank him for his professionalism."
Sproles, 5-6, 190, filled various roles for the Saints as a runner, receiver and return man since joining the Saints as an unrestricted free agent in 2011 after spending the first six years of his career with the San Diego Chargers, who picked him in the fourth round (130th overall) of the 2005 NFL Draft out of Kansas State. His 232 receptions for 1,981 yards with 16 touchdowns as a Saint in these three seasons led all NFL running backs in all three categories over this period. Sproles also carried 188 times for 1,067 yards (5.7 avg.) with five touchdowns and returned 81 punts for 671 yards (8.3 avg.) with one touchdown and brought back 70 punts for 1,827 yards (26.1 avg.). Overall in his nine-year NFL career, he has rushed 437 times for 2,221 yards (5.1 avg.) with 11 touchdowns, grabbed 378 passes for 3,381 yards with 27 touchdowns, returned 195 punts for 1,606 yards (8.2 avg.) and brought back 328 kickoffs for 8,296 yards (25.3 avg.) with two touchdowns. He has a career total of 15,492 all-purpose yards (rushing, receiving, kickoff returns, punt returns). Since 2007, no NFL player has matched his 13,806 all-purpose yard total.
In 2013, Sproles recorded 71 receptions for 604 yards with two touchdowns, carried 53 times for 220 yards with two touchdowns and also returned 29 punts for 194 yards and brought back 12 kickoffs for 255 yards. He enjoyed his finest season in his first campaign in Black and Gold in 2011, when he set an NFL record with 2,696 all-purpose yards. Sproles carried 87 times for a career-high and team-best 603 yards (6.9 avg.) with two touchdowns and he ranked fifth in the NFC and seventh in the NFL in receiving with a career-high 86 receptions for 710 yards with six touchdowns. On punt returns, he had a 10.1 average with one touchdown and he ranked third in the conference and sixth in the league in kickoff returns, averaging 27.2 yards per return. He was the only NFL player to score on a rush, reception and punt return.