Eagles acquire running back Darren Sproles

New Orleans Saints running back Darren Sproles carries the ball into the end zone for a touchdown...

New Orleans Saints running back Darren Sproles carries the ball into the end zone for a touchdown in front of Miami Dolphins linebacker Jelani Jenkins in the second quarter at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. (Crystal LoGiudice/USA TODAY Sports)

The Sports Xchange

, Last Updated: 11:35 AM ET

New Orleans Saints running back Darren Sproles is on the move, but he was not granted his wish to be released and choose his next employer.

The Saints and Philadelphia Eagles agreed early Thursday to the framework of a deal to ship Sproles out of New Orleans in exchange for a fifth-round pick.

Sproles will be a backup to LeSean McCoy but also likely play some wide receiver in the Eagles' uptempo offense and contribute to the return game.

Sproles was a key piece of the Drew Brees-led offense in New Orleans but played more of a receiver role than a traditional running back. He had just 53 carries last season and 101 rushing attempts the past two seasons compared to consecutive 70-reception seasons with nine touchdowns receiving.

Eagles head coach Chip Kelly is sure to find multiple uses for the 30-year-old, 10-year veteran.

Sproles was expendable in New Orleans where the Saints are shaving money to make improvements in other areas, including defense and their offensive line. The Saints re-signed running back Pierre Thomas and have former first-round draft pick Mark Ingram under contract.

Kelly covets players with versatility and especially playmakers who excel in one-on-one situations in the open field. With McCoy, Sproles and DeSean Jackson, the Eagles would have speed and explosiveness aplenty across the formation.

Jackson and Sproles are proven capable return men.


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