Darren Sproles’ potential return shouldn’t affect Eagles’ Draft Plans
Darren Sproles will make his decision to play or retire in May. Now, the Philadelphia Eagles need to figure out what they want to do with him.
Another offseason calls for another situation where former Philadelphia Eagles’ running back Darren Sproles is unsure of whether he wants to play in this upcoming season or not. We thought for sure that he was finished after last year when he tore his ACL and broke his forearm during week three of the 2017 NFL Season. But Sproles didn’t want to quit and go out like that.
Last year, Sproles alerted the Eagles with some news. He told them he wanted to come back and finish stronger in 2018. Being the loyal front office that they are, they issued Sproles a one-year deal. Unfortunately, his injury concerns would carry into the following season as Sproles missed a large chunk of the 2018 season due to having hamstring complications.
Once again, we were all under the impression that Sproles was finished after 2018, but then the veteran running back teased yet, another return for next year before this previous season wrapped up. Although he didn’t confirm that he was coming back yet, there does seem to be some mutual interest between Sproles and the Eagles once again.
However, Sproles won’t make his decision until May. Further meaning that the veteran running back is going to sit back and see how the NFL Draft plays out for the Eagles. As they are expected to take a running back at some point in the draft, by doing so, Sproles could opt out a return. If the Eagles are confident in what they currently have, including the idea of adding Sproles, then they could decide to skip out on drafting another running back this year.
What should the Eagles do?
The Philadelphia Eagles have been very active in finding an answer for their backfield this offseason. As they just wrapped up their 2018 season ranked 28th in total rushing, it’s clear that they need some help back there. Fortunately, the Eagles traded with the Chicago Bears for Jordan Howard, but he’s just the power piece to the puzzle. The Eagles need another speedy guy, a ‘Sproles-Type,’ if you will. However, it shouldn’t be Sproles.
We’re all well aware of the fact that the Eagles are not afraid to sign guys who are well into their 30s, but they need to go younger at running back. Sproles may still have flashes, but his inability to stay healthy over the last two seasons hurt, especially in 2018. Just remember though, the Eagles don’t need Sproles as much as many may think. Sure, he can still make some big plays here and there, but the Eagles fared well without Sproles on the field in 17′ when they won the Super Bowl.
Having Sproles is a nice addition to the backfield, but he’s more of a luxury than a necessity at this point in his career. If the Eagles want to bring Sproles back in May, then that’s fine. But the idea of bringing him back shouldn’t alter the Eagles draft plans. There’s plenty of talent in the mid-rounds this year at running back, and the Eagles should be more than willing to pull the trigger on one of these guys.
They need security in the backfield for years to come, not another risky patch-up job. Being 28th in the league for rushing is far from ideal. And in a season where the quarterback needs to prove that he can get back into his MVP form, there’s no time to mess with his groove by constantly changing who’s in the backfield between four or five guys.