Julio Cortez/Associated Press
How much speed can one offense have? Add Darren Sproles to the Eagles and it's easy to argue that Chip Kelly's squad will be the fastest offense in the NFL in 2014.
Sproles, who will turn 31 on June 20, will be the backup running back to LeSean McCoy. Although, it's actually Chris Polk who would handle the majority of the workload if McCoy were to suffer an injury. Sproles was brought in almost solely for his abilities as a receiver out of the backfield.
In 2013, Sproles turned in his worst year since 2007. Although he carried 53 times for 4.2 yards per carry and caught 71 passes for 604 yards, he scored just four total touchdowns. He also averaged just 21.3 yards per kick return and 6.7 yards per punt return.
Sproles' decline, his relatively steep contract (for a part-time running back) and the emergence of young running back Khiry Robinson led the Saints to trade Sproles to the Eagles for a fifth-round draft pick.
The big question is whether Kelly will be able to successfully revive the career of a player who is already likely a few years past his peak. The good thing is that Sproles isn't your typical 31-year-old running back. After all, he's carried the ball just 437 times in his entire career. By comparison, Marshawn Lynch carried the ball 366 times in 2013, including the postseason.
Sproles is more of an offensive weapon than a running back. He's a player who can carry four or five times per game while also catching four or five passes per game. He also has five career return touchdowns, three by punt returns and two by kick returns.
The Eagles' offense in 2013 was all about finding mismatches and creating opportunities for players in space. Think back to how many times Riley Cooper or Brent Celek caught passes with no defender within five yards of them. Now imagine a player with Sproles' speed catching those passes with room to run.
At the very least, even if his skills are declining, the threat of Sproles will have to keep defenders accountable.