Running back Darren Sproles, the Chargers’ designated franchise player, signed the team’s one-year contract tender.
Sproles was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this spring before the Chargers opted to use their franchise designation him, which guarantees he’ll make the average of the five top running back salaries in the league. That’s $6.621 million this season. It also meant that if another team were to sign Sproles, the Chargers would receive two first-round draft choices as compensation.
A year ago, Sproles was one of the game’s most electrifying players. He averaged 5.4 yards per carry and 11.8 yards per reception and scored six touchdowns in his fourth NFL season. During the Chargers’ playoff win over the Indianapolis Colts, NBC’s John Madden called Sproles the "best screen runner in football."
In addition to his role on offense, Sproles serves as the team’s primary return specialist. He finished eighth in the NFL in both kickoff return average (26.0) and punt return average (11.3).