After the New Orleans Saints were unable to sign tight end Jimmy Graham to a long-term extension, they slapped the franchise tag on him in hopes of buying more time. That, combined with the six-year, $54 million deal they gave Jairus Byrd, meant that there was going to be at least one big cap casualty.
For the past week, running back Darren Sproles, who was set to make $3.5 million this coming season, was on the trading block. That seems like a modest price for the league's bet pass-catching running back, but the Saints are in desperate need of cap space.
It looked as though they were set to cut him after the free agency signing period began, but they've manage to find a trade partner in the Philadelphia Eagles:
Eagles trade for Sproles will be announced later today. Smart of the Saints to wait for trade. There was always ample interest ...— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 13, 2014
Darren Sproles averaged 2.28 yards per route run last year. Most of any back in the league & number that only 9 WRs bettered.— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) March 13, 2014
Sproles will eat into some McCoy snaps. But no reason both can't be on field together. Sproles spent 39.1% of snaps split out wide/ in slot— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) March 13, 2014
Sproles told Josina Anderson of ESPN Wednesday that he wanted the team to cut him.
"I want to get released," Sproles said. "I don’t want to be traded. I don’t know where they would send me because I have no control over it and I want to be able to pick. The good thing is none of the teams I’m told they’re talking to are terrible. It’s more than two. I feel I should have more of an idea later on today."
Sproles has been with the Saints since 2011. He is coming off the worst statistical season of his career with "just" 1,273 all-purpose yards.