12:25pm: The first-year Eagles coach denied the report of a potential Sproles trade, telling media (including Berman, via Twitter) “We had no decisions to do that. I want Darren Sproles on this football team. … He’s a big part of this team.”
11:57am: Doug Pederson has been in direct contact with Sproles this offseason and insists the veteran scatback is not unhappy, Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets. The first-year coach’s stance on this matter is that Sproles wants to spend time with his family and preserve his legs, Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News tweets. Sproles will enter his 12th season and age-33 campaign.
10:16am: The Eagles received calls of trade interest on running back Darren Sproles during the draft, sources tell Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Right now, it sounds like the Eagles are considering some of those offers. For now, Rapoport says, he’s staying away from OTAs until it’s all sorted out.
Sproles came to the Eagles in a 2014 trade with the Saints. At the time, Sproles was brought in to be a key part of the team’s backfield. Later on, however, the entire backfield was remodeled and Sproles found himself as the No. 3 tailback on the list behind DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews. Now, Chip Kelly is out of the equation in Philadelphia, but the Eagles are still not sure if they feel the diminutive back is essential to their offense.
The Eagles once again overhauled their backfield this offseason when they shipped Murray to the Titans in a surprising trade. That deal left the Eagles with Mathews as their lead back and Sproles as the No. 2.
Sproles, 32, saw time in every game last season and made four starts. In that span, the veteran ran for just 317 yards off of 83 carries but also contributed 55 receptions for 388 yards. For his contributions in the rushing, receiving, and return game, Sproles earned his second-straight Pro Bowl nod in 2015.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.