Former Chargers running back Darren Sproles, dubbed the “lightning bug” for his size and quickness, has been traded to the Philadelphia Eagles, the team says.
Most recently with the New Orleans Saints, the 5-foot-6 Sproles was a fan favorite in San Diego in the late-2000s, returning punts and kicks and backing up LaDainian Tomlinson and Michael Turner.
Philly.com reported that the Saints received a fifth-round draft pick from the Eagles.
“Darren Sproles is an unbelievable offensive weapon,” Eagles coach Chip Kelly was quoted as saying. “He can do it all, run, catch, plus he’s a proven winner. And on top of that, he can bring all of those dynamic skills to the return game as well. There is no question we were all excited once we found out we were going to be able to trade for him.”
John Keim of ESPN.com cheered as well, despite saying Sproles “is on the downside of his career, as any running back who turns 30 would be.”
“That doesn’t mean he’s no longer dangerous,” Keim wrote. “And that’s why this move was largely applauded. The only thing that he can’t do is improve a defense that struggled, though the Eagles have started to work on that side of the ball a little bit as well, with safety Malcolm Jenkins and corner Nolan Carroll having been signed.”
He said the impact of the trade will linger for a while, “right up through the season when the Philadelphia Eagles can showcase yet another weapon in Chip Kelly’s offense.”
Sproles played for the Chargers in 2005-2010 after being taken by the Bolts in the fourth round of the 2005 NFL Draft.