Darren Sproles: A name that the Eagles have already considered in free agency

With talk that Clinton Portis could be a good fit with the Eagles and the revelation that Brian Westbrook speaks with Andy Reid every week and would like to return to Philly, it should probably also be noted that the Eagles had at least some level of interest in another running back last offseason: Darren Sproles.

Around this time last year, it was thought that Sproles was going to make it to free agency, and he had even scheduled visits with four teams - the Chiefs, Rams, naturally the Redskins, and you got it... the Eagles.  Then the Chargers unexpectedly slapped a first and third round tender on him, keeping him in San Diego.  At the time, the Eagles were only about a week or two removed from releasing Brian Westbrook, who was scheduled to make $7.5 million for the 2010 season, and were very much in the market for a backup running back to LeSean McCoy.  They would eventually settle on Mike Bell, with very disappointing results.

While the Eagles lucked out by shipping Bell to Cleveland mid-season for Jerome Harrison in a RB-for-RB swap, the general consensus is that Harrison is likely to leave via free agency once the new CBA is done.  It should be noted that Harrison was tendered by the Eagles with a 2nd round restricted free agent tag, but with 6 years of NFL service, the NFLPA would have to agree to a horrible new CBA for 6th year players not to be able to become free agents.

Sproles would potentially fill 2 roles with the Eagles: kick returner (a major weakness in 2010), and a 2nd RB that could also make some noise in the base offense getting between 8-12 touches per game.  His strength is in the passing game - He was 5th in the NFL among running backs for both catches and receiving yards, and would be yet another weapon in the Eagles offense that would be a threat to score any time he touched the football.

Sproles                  
Rush Yards Avg Long TD Rec Yards Avg Long TD
8 50 6.3 21 0 3 10 3.3 6 0
37 164 4.4 34 2 10 31 3.1 14 0
61 330 5.4 37 1 29 342 11.8 66 5
93 343 3.7 21 3 45 497 11 81 4
50 267 5.3 34 0 59 520 8.8 57 2
                   
PR Yards Avg Long TD KR Yards Avg Long TD
18 108 6 23 0 63 1528 24.3 58 0
24 229 9.5 45 1 37 1008 27.2 89 1
22 249 11.3 43 0 53 1376 26 103 1
26 183 7 77 1 54 1300 24.1 66 0
24 166 6.9 16 0 51 1257 24.3 45 0

Sproles highlights after the jump...

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