The Official BLOG of

You are currently NOT on the Homepage
Please send any questions or comments to:

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Chargers designate Sproles Franchise Player

San Diego Chargers running back and kick returner Darren Sproles has been designated the team’s Franchise Player for the 2009 season.

Sproles, 25, was designated a “non-exclusive” Franchise Player, which means that he can still negotiate with other teams. Should he receive an offer from another team, the Chargers can either match the new club’s offer or receive two first-round draft choices as compensation.

As a “non-exclusive” Franchise Player, Sproles received a one-year contract offer from the Chargers that is the average of the top five salaried running backs from the ’08 season. The Chargers and Sproles also may continue to negotiate a long-term contract.

“Darren has been a valuable contributor to our team, both on offense and special teams,” said General Manager A.J. Smith. “He is a young and improving player. We expect we’ll utilize his many talents as we have in the past and he’ll be a valuable asset in the coming season.”

Sproles has publicly said he wants to be a Charger, but also that he wants to test the free-agent market.

"We plan on Darren being here,” Smith said. “If he gets an offer sheet (from another team), he will cost a team two No. 1s, or we could match the offer. Obviously we don’t know what other teams think about Darren."

Smith said today’s decision has no impact on the contract status of running back LaDainian Tomlinson.

“This does not affect our ability to negotiate a new contract with LT. We’re hopeful of getting a new deal done with him.”

The last player to be designated the team’s Franchise Player was quarterback Drew Brees in 2005.