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CHARGERS: Fan favorite Sproles likely makes too much money to return

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by CoronaDoug, Jan 8, 2011.

  1. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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    SAN DIEGO -- Chargers fans love Darren Sproles. Always have, always will.
    The diminutive running back is equal parts good citizen, playmaker and underdog, qualities that inspire people to buy jerseys and hang posters on the wall. For that reason, No. 43 has had a fan base disproportionate to his statistics for years.
    But the same can be said of his pay grade, which is why Sproles has likely played his last game as a Charger.
    Sproles was so important in playoff victories following the 2007 and '08 seasons that the Chargers tagged him as their franchise player to prevent him from leaving as a free agent in 2009, making him one of the league's highest-paid running backs. They retained him as a restricted free agent in 2010 by awarding him a 10 percent pay raise, leaving his salary at $7.283 million, a figure his play in 2010 didn't justify.
    Sproles tallied 50 carries for 267 yards and a team-high 59 receptions for 520 yards and two touchdowns this season. The long returns fans became so accustomed to in the past were nonexistent in 2010, and Sproles lost a career-worst three fumbles.
    Those numbers hastened Sproles' first foray into the open market as an unrestricted free agent. While Chargers general manager A.J. Smith isn't commenting publicly this week, the Chargers will likely wait until the market sets before deciding if they want to bring him back.
    "This will be a chance to get a real sense of my value," Sproles said. "That's what I'm looking forward to the most. All the trips and meeting and dinners, are just part of the process, but I wouldn't say I'm looking forward to all that. I haven't been recruited since I was in high school, so it'll be interesting to see how it goes."
    Sproles' likely departure is an agonizing truth for fans who hold him in such lofty esteem, especially kids who don't know or care about the value of a dollar or the intricacies of a salary cap.
    They love that a man standing 5-foot-6 and weighing 190 pounds, drafted as a gimmick and ignored as an offensive threat, could run through, over and around prototypical NFL players. His ability to electrify a crowd anytime he touches the ball adds intrigue whenever he's on the field.
    "That's so important to have the fans behind me," Sproles said while cleaning out his locker following the season. "Those people really keep me going when I'm dealing with injuries and tough times. I know they're always out there supporting me, and it makes me want to work hard and put on a good show for them."
    He often has. Sproles' fingerprints are all over the Chargers recent run of success.
    Sproles' signature moment came in the 2008 playoffs, when he totaled 328 all-purpose yards while subbing for an injured LaDainian Tomlinson in a 23-17 victory over the Indianapolis Colts. Sproles' 22-yard touchdown run in overtime ended the game, and his 13-yard reception on third-and-11 kept that drive alive.
    That game may have also prompted the Chargers to use the franchise tag to keep Sproles from leaving.
    Before receiving the franchise tag in 2009, Sproles said he had hoped to be an every down running back in the NFL. That desire hasn't changed, but he understands that that opportunity may never come. He also knows he'll likely take a pay cut no matter where he signs, so he's seeking the right combination of money and playing time.
    "I'm open to how any team wants to use me," Sproles said. "I'll do anything. I feel that I've carved out a pretty good role for myself with returns and all of my duties on offense. I'll do whatever I can to help a team win."
    Sproles, for one, hopes that team is the Chargers.
    "I definitely would," Sproles said. "I love the city and I love the guys in this locker room. This is the only team I've ever known. I'd like to keep it that way."

    CHARGERS: Fan favorite Sproles likely makes too much money to return
     
  2. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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    Please do not bring him back. He has hit the wall.
     
  3. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    Likely? :icon_rofl:

    GTFO you worthless gimmick.
     
  4. cranberry

    cranberry BoltTalker

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    The future is Mathews and Tolbert and a rookie for screens an run
     
  5. Pointyearedog

    Pointyearedog I only put idiots on ignore...

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    And don't forget Boonah...
     
  6. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    Fan favorite? :lol:
     
  7. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    If he would come back cheap I could see it but no more then 1/3 of what he's getting now per year and then primarily as a returner and ocassional runner
     
  8. nickelbolt

    nickelbolt Fuggedaboutit

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    He'd be a great fit for a dome team. He'd add a pretty nice dimension to that Falcons offense. I got not hate for the kid. He always did what was asked of him and far exceeded my expectations. Adios squirrel nuts.
     
  9. Pointyearedog

    Pointyearedog I only put idiots on ignore...

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    A la Ronnie Harmon?
     
  10. DenverBolt67

    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    Only because his jersey is one of the few the Chargers sell. when is this team going to start selling linemen Jerseys? And I mean good ones, not Vasquez and Castillo
     
  11. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure Rivers, Gates, Mathews (hype), Jammer, and even Vincent Jackson sell more than he does.

    But he's probably up there as well due to name recognition.
     
  12. Dublin Bolt

    Dublin Bolt BoltTalker

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    Meh... I'm over Sproles. He is no longer a threat returning kicks/punts (look at the difference Cason made when he got his chance) and that is the only reason he should be brought back. He's always going to be a part time player on offense. Thanks for some good memories Darren, best wishes wherever you end up.
     
  13. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    Spend that 8 million on VJ!

    Draft Noel Divine.
     
  14. Enormo

    Enormo BoltTalker

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    He has played well on offense this season. If accepts a salary commensurate with his limited role, I'd be very happy to see him stay.
     
  15. Alpenbolt

    Alpenbolt BoltTalker

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    Draft a speed running back in the 3rd round and sign Sproles to 3 years for 8 to 10m.

    59 receptions and 25 first downs are not easy to replace.
     
  16. ThunderHorse17

    ThunderHorse17 Lone Wolf

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    My sentiments exactly. Bring in someone to compete with Cason for the major return duties.

    I would deffinatly rather see VJ stick around for around that much than give it to Sproles again.
     
  17. Dublin Bolt

    Dublin Bolt BoltTalker

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    U think we can get Sproles for that $$ Joe?. I have my doubts. You are right though if we can get him for value then I'm all for it. But I'm finished with him as a K and P returned.

    Happy NY btw!!.
     
  18. DenverBolt67

    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    I don't even think he is worth that. Dude is done as a returnman, and he isn't worth that for ~100 touches a year as a RB
     
  19. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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    Don't waste the roster space on Sproles.
     
  20. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Where is Gramps? :lol:
     
  21. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    At least Sproles can pick up a blitz and buy River's some time. I can't say that about the high priced rookie that spends more time in the trainers office than on the field of play.
     
  22. Alpenbolt

    Alpenbolt BoltTalker

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    Probably not but that is all I would offer and let him decide. He wants to stay in SD and he has basically stolen some big cash over the last two years. He has to go on punts. I can live with him on kickoff still.

    Would be nice to have a pure return specialist for once but roster slots are tough to give up.
     

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