Sep 30, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Darren Sproles (43) carries the ball in the first quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

Should the Chargers Sign Darren Sproles?

I know the Chargers have bigger needs (offensive line, defensive line, secondary) but this is fun to think about. I miss the “Lightning Bug” as Darren Sproles was affectionately called as a Bolt, not just because of his 5’6″ 190lb. frame, but also because the man could scoot. The return specialist from Kansas State has spent the past 3 seasons with the New Orleans Saints, who, according to a reports, will release Sproles if they can’t trade him (via ESPN’s Mike Triplett).

In 5 seasons with San Diego, Sproles racked up 9,958 all-purpose yards (kick return, punt return, rushing and receiving yards combined). He also had 21 total touchdowns. That’s a lot of production for someone who never really was the starting running back, he always played second fiddle to either LaDanian Tomlinson or the Mike Tolbert/Ryan Mathews tandem in 2010. But who can forget when he went on a rampage against the Colts in the 2009 AFC Wild Card game, collecting 328 all-purpose yards including 105 rushing yards with 2 TDs, one of them being the “walk-off” touchdown to clinch the win in OT? He was productive in LT’s absence due to injury throughout that season. Also, the 2007 game vs. the Colts on Sunday Night, when he had 2 return TDs in the same game. And since he has been with the Saints, he has done much of the same. In 2011, his first year with New Orleans, he even led the NFL in all-purpose yards with 2,696. Last season he had 1,273 all-purpose yards and 4 TDs. He is still very productive.

Only the Jaguars were worse than the Chargers in punt return yardage last year and the Bolts were 26th in kick return yardage. During Sproles’ last season with San Diego, the Chargers were 7th in the NFL in punt return yardage and actually led the NFL in all-purpose yards. Sproles made an impact. San Diego’s special teams really has not been the same since his departure. Keenan Allen and Danny Woodhead made good contributions in the return game, but it hasn’t been the same. I’m not saying we should pursue Sproles as our first priority and give him a lucrative deal, but after we sign some needs on the team, if we have some money left, I say we give Sproles a shot, bring him back, for old time’s sake. It sure couldn’t hurt the Chargers’ return game in 2014.

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  • 619chargers4life

    Nope we shouldn’t , let’s leave the past in the past .

    • Peter Thompson


  • Padraigh Keogh

    Can see him go early in free agency. Could he be used as a full back and on short yardage? He could be used as a dual treat running back but do we wanna go that way? My heart says yes but head says no.

    • shane

      a fullback?????????? whoa bro…whoa

      • Gunnar Martin

        Hahaha that’s what I was thinkin

      • Padraigh Keogh

        I wasn’t saying we should get him as a fullback. I was saying IF we got him how would we use him.

    • blu3ny3llow


  • Julien Bélair

    No plain and simple

  • surge619

    Ok at first I didn’t agree but after all u just said it makes sense I wouldn’t mind the lightning bug back btw wasn’t talking smack when he left

  • Nick Lee

    I agree with Padraigh. I wrote this article more to reminisce, and maybe some wishful thinking. But yeah, heart says yes, head says no.

  • Sergio Quintero

    The chargers already have a player that does 80% of what Sproles does and gets paid 20% of what Sproles will probably make in Woodhead.

    GM’s are paid to be as romantic & nostalgic as giving your girl McDonalds chicken nuggets on valentine’s night. Branch Rickey the legendary GM of the dodgers said: “You should always get rid of player a year early, rather than a year late”, can’t describe the cold mentality any better.

  • Steve

    I love the guy but we got Woodhead already. There are other RB’s available in free agency that would be attractive. Gerhart or maybe even Donald brown

  • Rob Base

    I think Bolts should go after Gerhart in freeagency if not then the draft.

  • RZ

    He’ll NO!

  • blu3ny3llow

    I know we are all bored n just wanna talk Chargers or football for that matter but….NNOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • tubbs45
  • arnie

    Sproles was great for the Chargers. Aj let him walk. Now TT has found an equally valuable younger player in Woodhead. In a Perfect world Sproles might still be a Charger. He’s not. And i think it should stay that way. unless we desperately need a veteran RB in the middle of the season.

  • Will

    Every single one of you jokes for fans talking bad about sproles are pathetic disgraces to this fanbase. Every single real charger fan would be thrilled to have him back regardless of who’s n the roster. Danny woodhead isn’t shit compared to sproles. Y’all needa take your asses to a different fanbase. You guys would fit right in with Oakland or Denver, so do the few good charger fans left a favor.

    • John Alton

      What have you been reading? Nobody was talking trash on Sproles. Nobody wants him back and that really pisses you off. Get over it little boy. When you finish with your tantrum, go whip your tears off on your mothers apron.

  • John Alton

    He will be 31 this year and his return numbers have been dropping the last two seasons. That is not a good sign. His punt return averages have never been that great except for a couple of seasons. Don’t let sentimentality cloud your judgement. Besides the team would be over paying for a return man. The Bolts do have limited cap space and more important holes to fill. Sproles is a luxury the Charger can’t afford.

  • Ricky Beswick

    Think about having both of them plus keenan and greean and our other weapons. I like darren more than a WR. We really should consider picking him up, if he’s for a reasonable price. Give him a little more closer to what he wants than what we do, but try to get him nonetheless