Free agent Darren Sproles will turn 35 in June.
He tore his ACL and broke his arm on the same play in week three, cutting short his 12th NFL season as the Birds went on to win Super Bowl 52 without him.
From a pure business sense, you’d think the Eagles might move on from an aging star coming off a pair of injuries, but that doesn’t seem to be the case, not according to Doug Pederson, who spoke to reporters yesterday in Orlando:
“He wants to still play. I want him to play, and I want him to be an Eagle,” Pederson said. “I know the way he works, the way he trains, the way he gets himself prepared. If and when he decides to sign and come back, we’re ready for him.”
Pederson’s availability was part of the coaches’ breakfast at the annual league meeting.
More from Pederson via Tim McManus over at ESPN:
“He’s expressed he wants to be back here, he knows we want him back here,” Pederson said at the NFL owners meeting on Tuesday. “He’s a big part of our team. Punt returner. He’s a tremendous back. A third-down guy. So yeah, we’ll see where it falls out.”
Sproles ran the ball 15 times this season before going on IR, including a team-high 10 carries in the week two loss at Kansas City. He also caught 7 passes for 73 yards.
LeGarrette Blount’s departure does make room for Sproles in a stable that already includes Jay Ajayi and Corey Clement, the latter of whom is due for an expanded role in 2018. Wendell Smallwood is also on the roster and Donnel Pumphrey is scheduled to return from injury.
So if Sproles does come back on an affordable deal, is he a third down back with punt and kick return duties? The Eagles also lost Kenjon Barner to free agency, so there’s certainly a special teams hole to fill.
A Doug clip:
Doug Pederson on Darren Sproles: Would you not want him back … I want him to be an Eagle. pic.twitter.com/PRES5D8Zfj
— The Bitter Birds (@AdrianFedkiw) March 28, 2018
He wants him back.
What say you?