Running backs on Chargers’ mind

The Chargers have some needs to address this offseason, but nothing has drawn more speculation and opinion than the futures of RBs LaDainian Tomlinson and Darren Sproles.

The Tomlinson situation has dominated the headlines in recent weeks, but the Chargers will have to make a decision on Sproles in the very near future. The Chargers had to let Tomlinson’s previous backup, Michael Turner, walk away last year. Will they do the same thing with Sproles? General Manager A.J. Smith was noncommittal, as quoted by Casey Pearce on

    “Darren has said on the record that he will go to the free-agent market,” Smith said. “Do the Chargers offer a contract along with the 31 other teams and find out where we go or do the Chargers consider the franchise tag? He can participate in the open market or receive the franchise tag. Stay tuned.”

Sproles would earn a one-year contract worth $6,621,000 in 2009 if the Chargers applied the franchise tag on him, according to the team’s website. The Chargers would receive two first-round draft picks if another team offered Sproles a contract and San Diego didn’t match it. The franchise-tag deadline is Feb. 19.

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