In Late July, amid moves made around the league, Darren Sproles inked a four-year, $14 million contract with the New Orleans Saints. On that same July day, the Saints traded away Reggie Bush, the 2005 Heisman Trophy winner, to the Miami Dolphins.
The move left analysts and fans of the black and gold wondering if the Saints would be able to fill the void left by the dynamic running back. Anyone who attended training camp in New Orleans realized very quickly that the Saints' offense would not skip a beat.
Besides the obvious height difference and the attention each player received coming into the league, Sproles and Bush are very similar players.They both have blazing speed and thrive with the ball in open space. One major exception to the last comment is their running styles. Sproles' north-south running ability is something that Reggie Bush does not possess.
In just five games with the Saints, the 5'6" Sproles has racked up over 800 all-purpose yards and left defenders grabbing at the air. When his numbers are compared to Reggie Bush, a player some people placed in the Hall of Fame before he took one snap in the NFL, there is no comparison. At the end of Week 5, Bush has only accumulated 217 all-purpose yards.
In fairness to Reggie Bush, the Dolphins have a far less explosive offense. On the other hand, the New Orleans Saints' offense allows Sproles to flourish. On the Saints, the little running back that played his college ball at Kansas State is just another weapon for Drew Brees to use. From Jed Collins to Jimmy Graham, Brees is not afraid to spread the offensive love around.
To go along with all the benefits that Sproles brings to the table, his contract that totals $14 million is far less than the money that Reggie Bush wanted. The New Orleans Saints' cheaper investment in Darren Sproles appears to be one of the best moves that any team made during the offseason.
Although the NFL season is still in its infancy, Sproles has looked like the player that everyone in the Crescent City expected Reggie Bush to be.