Brees says he lobbied to bring Sproles to Saints

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METAIRIE, La. (AP) -- Drew Brees has a history with Darren Sproles and says he did not hesitate to exploit it when it became clear Reggie Bush wasn't going to be back with the Saints in 2011.

Brees says he "pulled out all the stops" to attract Sproles to New Orleans.

Sproles, a small but speedy running back and return man, agreed to a four-year, $14 million free-agent deal with New Orleans on Thursday night.

Brees was San Diego's quarterback in 2005, when Sproles was drafted by the Charges. The Saints quarterback still keeps an offseason residence in San Diego and trained with Sproles earlier this year.

Brees says Sproles' versatility in the running, passing and return game will "absolutely" allow him to run the types of plays that had been designed for Bush.