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New Orleans Saints reportedly in the C.J. Spiller sweepstakes

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Apparently, with some newly discovered cap space, the New Orleans Saints are in the mix for free agent running back C.J. Spiller.  Initially reported by insider Ian Rapoport of NFL.com and NFL Network, the Dallas Cowboys are also in the sweepstakes for the former Buffalo Bills RB.

This comes as a bit surprising after the Saints re-signed Mark Ingram over the weekend.  While New Orleans could use a pass-catcher out of the backfield like Spiller after the departure of Pierre Thomas, the team was/is expected to take a defensive approach in free agency, as GM Mickey Loomis explained in a radio interview.  CBs Tramon Williams and Brandon Browner reportedly visited with the team all day Wednesday.

C.J. Spiller has also 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 the New Orleans Saints 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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