Darren Sproles is taking his time to decide whether or not he has another year in him.
Sproles will be 36 by the start of the 2019 season, but the Eagles have publicly expressed interest in having him back. And, apparently, Sproles hasn’t made his decision yet.
Sproles was recently at an autograph signing in Ocean City, where Dave Weinberg from The Press of Atlantic City caught up with him.
Here’s what Sproles told him:
We’ve had some talks. I’m going to wait until May before I make my decision. We’ll have to see.
After he broke his arm and tore his ACL on the same play in 2017, Sproles rehabbed back from that ACL injury to make last season his final one in the NFL. But a serious hamstring injury kept him out for months and limited him to just six games. When he returned, he started to waver with his decision. Sproles didn’t want to go out with an injury in 2017 and it’s possible he won’t want to go out with a shortened season in 2018.
The difference here is that Sproles actually got back on the field in 2018 and was a contributor to the Eagles as they made their way down the stretch. Even though he’s 35, he was still quite a mismatch for linebackers and would likely still be a mismatch in 2019. And he could also fill the role of punt returner; the Eagles don’t really have one on the roster right now.
But the Eagles did just trade for Jordan Howard and there’s a good chance they will draft another running back in late April. Perhaps that’s why Sproles is waiting until May to make his decision. I still think it’s somewhat unlikely Sproles returns, but it seems like both sides are keeping open the possibility. At 36, Sproles wouldn’t even be the oldest guy on the roster — Jason Peters is 37.
Last year, Sproles didn’t sign up for another year with the Eagles until April 28. And he’s one of those guys who doesn’t really need to be around the team during OTAs. The 13-year veteran will probably keep himself in shape on his own in San Diego.
Just last week at the owners meetings, head coach Doug Pederson was asked about Sproles and said he’d still like to have Sproles back.
I haven’t talked to him. You know, this is Darren’s decision, obviously we’d love to have him. I can’t speak for Howie (Roseman) or any of the other guys in the building. But we’d love to have him, we’d love to have all of our players back. But listen, this is their time. I get it. I was there once. But I respect his decision.
Sproles isn’t the only player who might retire. Chris Long is also pondering his future, but Long is under contract, while Sproles is technically a free agent. Sproles would need to sign another deal to return in 2019.
We’ll know in a couple months.
Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.