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McCoy, Sproles will give Eagles options

LeSean McCoy turned into one of the most durable and dependable running backs in the league last season.

McCoy should be even fresher in 2014 with the addition of Darren Sproles.

Sproles was acquired by the Philadelphia Eagles last month and then was signed to a two-year contract extension through 2016. Sproles, 30, will give the Eagles multiple options out of the backfield and on special teams. Sproles' speed may not be what it was three or four years ago, but it's still good enough for him to be an impact player.

With McCoy and Sproles in the backfield at the same time, defenses won't be able to focus on one player. It will give coach Chip Kelly plenty of options, especially on third down.

The change of scenery will give Sproles a fresh start.

“I just wanted a choice,” Sproles told reporters. "I didn't want them to put me on a team or wherever that really didn't fit me. That's why I wanted to be released, so I could really choose. ...When I heard it (was Philadelphia), I was just happy. They could have traded me somewhere where I didn't want to be. So I was real happy about it."

Sproles led the league with 2,696 all-purpose yards in 2011, but his rushing, receiving and return total numbers have decreased in the following two seasons. Yet he’s coming to a team which doesn't need him to put up those kinds of numbers. The Eagles just need him to be a consistent element in their offense and special teams.

Amazingly, Eagles quarterback Nick Foles had one more yard rushing (221) than Sproles (220) last season. But Sproles' contribution won’t simply be on the ground. He can catch passes and turn them into huge gains. He can stretch the field. He can return kickoffs and punts. And he can block.

If Sproles can perform at a fairly high level, it will be a major benefit to McCoy.