Losing player like Sproles is part of life in NFL

Many people have been wondering how in the world the San Diego Chargers could allow Darren Sproles to leave in free agency after his mighty game for New Orleans at Green Bay on Thursday night.

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.