Sproles had a 72-yard punt return for a touchdown and he added 75 yards on seven catches in the Saints’ 42-34 loss.
It didn’t take Sproles’ strong performance Thursday night for the Chargers to realize he is a good player. He was fantastic in San Diego as a runner, receiver and returner. Who’ll ever forget when he took over a playoff win against Indianapolis in the 2008 season?
No, the Chargers didn’t simply bid adieu to Sproles because they thought he couldn’t play. In a perfect world, Sproles would still be a Charger.
But the team had several free agents it had to address, and, in the end, there wasn’t much left for Sproles, who the Chargers paid more than $13 million in the past two seasons. Beyond the money reasons, the Chargers like their group of running backs and they like their offense as a whole. Plus, they drafted Jordan Todman, who the team hopes will take on Sproles’ role.
Thursday’s performance is a reminder to San Diego that it will miss Sproles. It already knew that, though. It was a decision the team felt it needed to make.