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The five best New Orleans Saints free agent signings under Sean Payton (excluding Drew Brees)

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Darren Sproles

Sep 30, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Darren Sproles (43) celebrates a touchdown against the Miami Dolphins in the second half at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. New Orleans defeated Miami 38-17. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

Having finished the five previous seasons with the San Diego Chargers, Darren Sproles was set to become a free agent entering the 2011 season.

On July 11, 2011, the Saints would announce the signing of Sproles just a day after Reggie Bush left the team for the Miami Dolphins. Sproles reunited with Drew Brees, who he played with in 2005 at San Diego.

Sproles would make his presence felt from the very first regular season game, tallying 250 all-purpose yards against the Green Bay Packers. Sproles did it all. He rushed, received, and returned both punts and kickoffs. He’s the last Saints player to have a special teams touchdown. Yes, it’s been that long.

His versatility is exactly what the Saints needed to compensate for the loss of Reggie Bush. Sproles would rack up 22 touchdowns (5 rushing, 16 receiving, 1 return) in his three years in the Big Easy.

Ultimately, Sproles would be traded to the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2013 offseason, which came as a shock to many. However, his overall play will be remembered for helping make the Saints a potent offense.

Also, we cannot forget that he was the recipient of Drew Brees’ record breaking pass against the Atlanta Falcons.

Next: No. 1 - Sharp Dressed Man

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