Darren Sproles: The next Reggie Bush?

Mike Triplett reports that the New Orleans Saints have expressed interest in San Diego free-agent running back Darren Sproles.

After working out a pending trade of Reggie Bush to the Miami Dolphins, the Saints could use someone like Sproles. With rookie Mark Ingram, Pierre Thomas and Chris Ivory, the Saints would seem to have a crowded backfield.

But Ingram, Thomas and Ivory aren’t as versatile as Bush and can’t do nearly as much as he did as a receiver. They also don’t have Bush’s ability to make things happen in the open field or in the return game.

Sproles has all that. He’s sort of a miniature version of Bush and could be a perfect fit in New Orleans’ offense. If he can be had for a miniature portion of Bush’s old schedule salary of $11.8 million or even the $5 million a year Bush reportedly will get in Miami, that could make this deal a reality.

You can’t pay a third-down back/return man $5 million a year. But, if you can get him for somewhere around $3 million a year, there’s good value.