By Paul Bowman, Sports Talk Philly Editor
The Eagles had three players that looked to have a real possibility to retire at the conclusion of the 2018 campaign.
The first to make his decision was left tackle Jason Peters, who took a pay cut to ensure he would be on the 2019 roster.
The second to decide was defensive end Chris Long.
Following the draft and the reduction of his playing role on the team, Long announced that he would be retiring from the league.
The final player remaining is the soon-to-be 36-year-old running back Darren Sproles. He was featured on the Pro Football Doc podcast and told the host, Dr. Chao, that he would be open to returning in 2019.
"If the right team calls, then I’ll go back," he told Dr. Chao.
He went on to discuss that he has a ring from Super Bowl LII, but he would actually like to play in the big game.
He had also said he'd want to return to a team that he had previously played for a few days prior. Luckily for him, all there of his former teams are playoff teams with a shot at making the Super Bowl.
Sproles was drafted by the then San Diego Charger, signed with the New Orleans Saints in free agency and was then traded to the Philadelphia Eagles. Those appear to be Sproles' right teams.
Sproles had planned to retire following the 2017 season, but after hitting IR early in the season, he decided he did not want to go out with an injury. He returned in 2018, but was limited to just six games due to a hamstring injury.
Sproles averaged 4.1 yards per rushing attempt in 2018 and 6.4 yards per touch when receptions are added, so he was certainly productive when he was on the field. The issue was that he took up a roster spot and missed 10 games while also taking a major step back in the return game.
The Eagles will face a tough decision when deciding whether to call him or not, though. The team added Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders to join Corey Clement and essentially lock in the top three backs. They also have young talent in Josh Adams, Wendell Smallwood and Boston Scott. Scott has a build and skill set similar to Sproles. Signing Sproles would mean the Eagles likely lose the rights to two, if not all three of those backs.
They also have young players like Blake Countess, Boston Scott and Deandre Thompkins who could blossom to provide an excellent return game for seasons to come that they might lose if they signed Sproles.
Sproles is just 162 yards behind Tim Brown on the NFL All-Time All-Purpose Yard leaderboard. He is currently sixth on the list.