The Eagles and Darren Sproles have reached agreement on a one-year contract extension, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The additional year will take Sproles through the 2017 season and pay him $4.5MM. Sproles was initially set to earn $3.5MM this season, but the Eagles pushed some money into 2016 with the new deal. The Eagles have confirmed the extension via press release.
The news is a sharp turn from what we were hearing earlier this spring, when there seemed to be discord between the Eagles and Sproles and questions about his future in Philly. In May, we learned that the Eagles reportedly received calls of trade interest on running back Darren Sproles during the draft. At the same time, the running back staying away from OTAs. Sproles would later claim that his absence was unrelated to those reports, but the timing does not seem coincidental.
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. 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, as shown on Roster Resource.
Now, as Mathews deals with an injury, Sproles is being given some extra cash as he prepares for what might be a larger-than-expected role in the Eagles’ offense. If Mathews’ issues drag into the regular season, we could see Sproles as the Eagles’ de facto No. 1 RB.
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.