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. It's a total of $6.621 million this season. If another team were to sign Sproles, the Chargers would have received two first-round draft choices as compensation. Several league sources said Sproles would have been hotly pursued in free agency had the Chargers not placed their pricey franchise tag on him.
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.
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).