According to a report from Geoff Mosher of CSN Philly, the Philadelphia Eagles tried to trade for Buffalo Bills running back earlier this offseason. Mosher goes on to say that the Bills were never interested in parting with their 26-year-old running back, however.
The Eagles contacted the Bills this offseason with hopes of trading for versatile Pro Bowl running back C.J. Spiller, according to two league sources familiar with the situation. The Bills weren’t interested in moving Spiller, both sources said, and talks never heightened into an offer.
The 5-11, 194 lb Spiller was the 9th overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. In four years with Buffalo, Spiller has made 61 appearances (30 starts) and rushed for 3021 yards (5.1 y/a) and 12 touchdowns on 590 carries. He's also hauled in a total of 139 receptions for 1070 yards (7.7 y/r) and 5 touchdowns. Spiller would have been a fantastic complementary running back to Eagles starter and 2013 NFL leading rusher LeSean McCoy.
Instead of landing Spiller, the Eagles ending up trading a fifth round draft pick for Saints running back Darren Sproles. While at 31 he's not quite the running threat that Spiller is, Sproles is still a weapon as a receiver. Also, Sproles may be older but he doesn't have the nagging injury problems that have plagued Spiller at times.
There's a few takeaways to be had from this report. First, it's clear the Eagles were ready to move on from DeSean Jackson. Otherwise I'm not so sure they would be so desperate to add more playmakers to an offense that was already among the best in the league last season. On the other hand, I don't think there's ever a time where Eagles head coach Chip Kelly would pass on the opportunity to add another weapon to his offense if the price is right. Especially when you consider how often Kelly likes to run the ball.
And speaking of the run game, I wonder if the Eagles are looking to lean less heavily on McCoy as much as they did in 2013. Don't get me wrong, McCoy will still rightfully be a major center piece of the team's offense. But the Eagles need to find a way to maximize his snaps without burning him out altogether. Adding a complementary threat could help them do just that.
It would have been really fun to see Spiller in Philadelphia, but I'm guessing the Eagles are happy with their consolation prize in the form of Sproles.