Already between $2 million and $4 million under the salary cap after parting ways with wide receiver Lance Moore, the New Orleans Saints are going to try to free up some more space by trading spark plug running back, Darren Sproles . If they can't get what they'd like in a trade, the team has said they are prepared to release Sproles into free agency. Sproles has been a big part of the Saints offense since coming to New Orleans in 2011. However, he saw a dip in production in 2013, averaging only 4.2 yards per carry, after ripping off over 5 per touch in his first two seasons with the team. He also only found the end zone four times in 2013, after combining to score 17 touchdowns in 2011 and 2012.
The Saints are also shopping Pierre Thomas ahead of free agency.
I'm an admitted Sproles lover. Any time I have a player who's a big piece to a fantasy championship puzzle, they forever hold a place in my heart. Sproles was just that a couple years ago, helping me win a 16 team keeper-auction league. With that said, I also try to avoid smaller running backs once they reach the age of 30 and fully expected a decline from him in 2013. So, I kept him this year and traded him early in the season.
Sproles best years are behind him for sure. Wherever he ends up, he'll be used as a change of pace back/third down back. He's still a dynamic player who could break a big play at anytime and still has some value in PPR formats. But, outside of landing in a handful of perfect situations, without the benefit of playing in Sean Payton's offense and without having Drew Brees as his quarterback, it can only be assumed that Sproles is going to continue his fantasy decline in 2014.
I hate to say that, as I'm a huge fan of the guy, but, as a fantasy owner, the saying goes, "hang on to the past, you're gonna finish last". Time to move on.