Saints will trade RB Darren Sproles to Eagles; Birds sign CB Nolan Carroll

New Orleans Saints running back Darren Sproles runs down the sidelines prior to an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, NC Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)

March 13, 2014 8:16:59 AM PDT
The Philadelphia Eagles announced a trade to the New Orleans Saints for running back Darren Sproles and the signing of former Miami Dolphins cornerback Nolan Carroll on Thursday.

In the Sproles deal, the Saints will receive a fifth-round draft pick from the Eagles in return.

"Darren Sproles is an unbelievable offensive weapon," said Eagles head coach Chip Kelly said in a news release issued Thursday. "He can do it all, run, catch, plus he's a proven winner. And on top of that, he can bring all of those dynamic skills to the return game as well. There is no question we were all excited once we found out we were going to be able to trade for him."

The Eagles also noted that "Sproles, 30, joins new teammate LeSean McCoy as the only two running backs with more than 150 catches and eight receiving touchdowns since 2011."

Sproles told ESPN's Josina Anderson on Wednesday that he would rather be released by the Saints than 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 [a team]," Sproles said.

The Saints decided to trade, instead of release, Sproles because there was so much interest from other teams when he was shopped as trade bait, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Sproles was one of the Saints' most dynamic offensive weapons the past three seasons after he signed as a free agent from the San Diego Chargers, with a total of 1,067 rushing yards, 1,981 receiving yards and 21 touchdowns. He set an NFL single-season record for all-purpose yards with 2,696 in 2011.

However, Sproles played in only about 33 percent of the Saints' offensive snaps during the 15 games in which he was active last season. And his numbers in 2013 (220 rushing yards, 71 receptions for 604 yards, 4 total touchdowns) were slightly down from past seasons.

The Eagles also made a move on defense Thursday, agreeing to a two-year deal with former Miami Dolphins cornerback Nolan Carroll.

Nolan is a guy we have studied for a while and the thing you see is his size, speed and press ability," said Eagles general manager Howie Roseman in a statement. "He will add depth to a cornerback group we already feel good about. You can never have enough big, long corners on a football team. He's also a player that has proven to be a productive gunner on special teams. We're excited to add him to our team."

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