PHILADELPHIA -- Running back Darren Sproles has not attended any of the Philadelphia Eagles' offseason workouts, head coach Doug Pederson said Tuesday. But Pederson denied an NFL Network report that Sproles was the subject of trade talks during the NFL draft last month.
“We had no decisions to do that, whatsoever,” Pederson said. “I want Darren Sproles on this football team. We want him on this football team. That’s where we’re at.”
Sproles is one of several players who have missed voluntary workouts this spring. Quarterback Sam Bradford skipped about two weeks while asking for a trade after the Eagles traded up in April's draft to take Carson Wentz with the No. 2 pick. Defensive lineman Fletcher Cox has skipped the offseason program while his agent negotiates a contract extension with the team.
Sproles’ absence was a mystery until Tuesday.
“He has not been here,” Pederson said. “He and I are in direct communication. We’ve been talking all offseason, and I have no issues with Darren. I fully expect him to be here for the mandatory camp, but this is a voluntary program. I can’t fault him.”
Pederson said Sproles, 32, was simply using the break in the schedule to spend some time at home.
“I think where he is in his career -- and I’ve been there before, too -- sometimes you just want that break,” Pederson said. “With him and his family being apart during the season, this is a time for him to spend quality time with his family.
“And then he knows what it takes to get himself ready to go. I fully expect him to be here in a couple weeks.”
The Eagles have a mandatory minicamp in June. Sproles and Cox are required to be there. They can be fined if they are not in attendance.