According to NFL Network Reporter Ian Rapoport, The New Orleans Saints will cut half-back Darren Sproles Friday afternoon after spending the last three seasons with the team. However, according to Pro Football Talk’s own Mike Florio, New Orleans has yet to release the running back as they try to get some value in return by trading him.
Denver could be a team that would make sense for the speedy 30-year-old. Sproles would catch 71 passes last season out of the back-field for the Drew Brees led offense, tallying over 604 yards and two touchdowns. He would be limited in the running game, carrying the ball 53 times for just 220 yards and two touchdowns. Denver is pushing towards having Montee Ball take over the reigns and apparently have no interest in re-signing running back Knowshon Moreno; who is coming off of a career year. Sproles would be a nice third-down back in Denver’s offense but Denver potentially has a player like Sproles in Ronnie Hillman who is just 22-years-old. Hillman would be the second-string and even first-string running back at times but would find himself bench towards the end of the season with fumbling issues.
Sproles could be a nice fit with Denver’s offense, paired up in the back-field with Peyton Manning would could hit Sproles on check-downs. Denver fans know how good Sproles is first hand as they faced him from 2005-10′ where he was a member of the division rival San Diego Chargers. He has never broken 1,000 yards rushing but he can be a threat both in the run & passing game. In his first season as a member of the Saints back in 2011, he would record 603 yards rushing while catching 86 passes for 710 yards for a combined nine touchdowns.
It would be interesting to say the least if Denver thinks about acquiring the veteran back, especially since head coach John Fox recently said that Ronnie Hillman was a ‘tremendous talent’. After all, Denver does have some cap room as they recently released franchise great Champ Bailey after ten outstanding seasons with the team. His release would free up roughly $9.0 million in cap space as Denver looks to add some playmakers on the defensive side of the ball. Denver also non-tendered KR/WR Trindon Holliday on Thursday which means Sproles could immediately make an impact in that role.