RB Darren Sproles (Harry How/Getty)
RB Darren Sproles signed his franchise tender on Tuesday, bringing him back into the fold with a one-year, $6.621 million contract. The agreement guarantees Sproles will not miss the team's initial Mini Camp, which kicks off this weekend.
Darren Sproles put to rest any concern about him holding out during the offseason program, signing his one-year tender just two days after the NFL Draft. He and the team will try to hammer out a long-term deal between now and the middle of July.
It was important to get Sproles signed before Mini Camp, which starts Friday. Sproles' breakout performance last season was credited to his relentless work in the offseason, and the team did not want to disrupt his preparation.
Had he remained unsigned, he could have skipped Mini Camp fine-free.
Just as importantly, Sproles' diligent work ethic should rub off on the young players, 30 of whom will don Chargers uniforms for the first time.
The Chargers franchised Sproles after a breakout season in which he gained 330 yards rushing, 342 receiving, 1,376 on kick returns and 249 on punt returns. He scored a total of seven touchdowns.
Sproles really proved his worth during the playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts. He subbed for an injured LaDainian Tomlinson and responded with 328 all-purpose yards, the third-highest total in playoff history.
The Chargers plan to use Sproles as a returner, receiver and change-of-pace back.
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