It has been reported that the New Orleans Saints are poised to release running back Darren Sproles. If Sproles hits the open market the Giants would be wise to try to and bring him in.
The Giants has a terrible running attack last season, ranking 29th in the NFL, with only 1,332 yards on the ground in all of 2013. The team’s leading rusher, Andre Brown, did not even eclipse the 500 yard mark for the season. If the Giants are to return to playoff contention they will need to improve their play at the running back position, Sproles would certainly help them do that.
Sproles is not an every down back, that is not his role on any team, but would provide a nice change of pace for the team and has always been effective in the screen game, something that new offensive coordiantor Ben McAdoo has stated he is going to try to implement into the Giants game plans with more frequency than former OC Kevin Gilbride did. Sproles has amassed over 500 yards recieving out of the backfield for the past 4 seasons and over 800 yards of total offense every one of the past 5 years.
Sproles is 30 years old, a benchmark that usually marks the decline of running backs in the NFL, but Sproles should have a few more years left in him considering he has never carried the ball more than 100 times in a season in his career.
Another area where Sproles has proven effective throughout his career is in the return game, a place where the Giants have consistently been terrible over the past decade or so. Last year’s team ranked 27th in the NFL in return yardage and yards per return, had 0 return touchdowns aand only 2 returns of over 40 yards. Sproles could certainly help in that regard.
Despite his small stature, listed at 5’6″ 181 lbs, Sproles has proven himself to be a durable player, missing more than one game in a season only one time in his eight years as a pro.
The Giants could use what Sproles brings to the table both on offense and on special teams, Jerry Reese would be wise to look to bring in the free-agent-to-be.