Hours after news surfaced about the New Orleans Saints possibly being a landing spot for C.J. Spiller, the Buffalo Bills free agent running back is scheduled to meet with the Black and Gold on Thursday, according to reports.
The news is a bit surprising. Don’t get me wrong — the Saints could certainly use his versatility, but Mark Ingram was just re-signed. Replacing Pierre Thomas with a new pass-catching running back should be a priority with the return of Travaris Cadet highly unlikely.
However, defense should be at the top of the list, preferably the secondary. CBs Tramon Williams and Brandon Browner reportedly visited with the Saints all day Wednesday, but an outcome has yet to be determined.
C.J. Spiller has faced several injury issues since taking his talents to the professional level via the No. 9 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft out of Clemson. In five years in Buffalo, he’s totaled 3,321 yards and just 12 touchdowns on 668 carries while reeling in 158 receptions for 1,195 and six scores.
His best year came in 2012 when he rushed for his first and only 1,000 yard season (1,244) and caught a career-high 43 passes for 459 yards. He totaled eight touchdowns that year.
Spiller’s worst season came in 2014, playing in just nine games before breaking his collarbone in October. He recorded just 300 yards (zero touchdowns) on 78 carries, adding 19 receptions for 125 yards and one trip into the end zone.
C.J. Spiller is undoubtedly a talented running back — he’s speedy, explosive and versatile. However, due to subpar health and Fred Jackson in the mix, the Clemson product just never really lived up to his hype.
If Sean Payton and GM Mickey Loomis feel he could help the team, then go for it — free agent running backs are coming in somewhat cheap, averaging around $4 million per year (see Mark Ingram and Frank Gore).
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