C.J. Spiller has played in only 159 snaps this season, which averages out to less than 15 per game. This leads to a serious question — why on Earth did the New Orleans Saints sign him?
Perhaps the biggest head-scratcher of all is the New Orleans Saints‘ adulterated use of running back C.J. Spiller after signing him to a four-year, $16 million contract. Why? Just why? It’s the million-dollar question. It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Is there something we don’t know? Is that surgically repaired knee (minor surgery) still bothering him? Is head coach Sean Payton stuck in “La La Land?” Or do the Saints realize they don’t have the talent, particularly on the offensive line, to accommodate Spiller? Riddle me that.
The Saints had the bright idea that they were in need of a third running back. It made sense after parting ways with Darren Sproles following the 2013 season. It was assumed C.J. Spiller would come in and immediately fill a vacancy that clearly affected the offense in certain areas in 2014. His speed and versatility were ideal.
Nope. Spiller continues to be underutilized, even after breaking out in Week 4 and even after Khiry Robinson went down with a season-ending injury five weeks ago. It has been the Mark Ingram show out of the backfield. That’s understood after re-signing Ingram to a four-year contract, which is also worth $16 million like C.J. Spiller’s deal, but with LESS guaranteed money.
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Yes, you read that right. While Spiller is guaranteed $9 million, Ingram is assured just $7.6M. That seems a bit unfair for somebody who is the clear workhorse with far greater chance for injury, but it is what it is. What is the point if Ingram is the only guy getting the ball? Spiller has the best job in the NFL — stealing money while riding the bench. It’s money that could have been used to sign a guard, a pass rusher, or another wide receiver. And I’ll tell you this — keeping Pierre Thomas would have been much cheaper. But that’s none of my business.
So far, the only thing the C.J. Spiller signing has done is make the Saints’ front office look like fools. Yes, fools. It’s not that the Pro Bowl running back is underperforming, because he’s not even getting the chance to do that. He’s already expressed his frustration with not seeing playing time, and he has every right to do so. From free agent acquisitions to a handful of injuries, to on-field performance, to questionable coaching decisions, the list goes on. 2015 has been absolutely disastrous for the Black and Gold.