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Sproles' likely departure could hurt Bolts in many areas

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Posted Jan. 26, 2011 @ 5:50 p.m. ET
By Michael Blunda

While the writing has been on the wall for some time that RB Darren Sproles is very unlikely to be back in San Diego in 2011, we hear the Chargers are going to miss him as more than just a returner. Making $7.3 million as the Bolts' franchise player this past season, the 5-6, 190-pound back is expected to get long-term offers from teams looking for help in the backfield and on special teams. The Chargers, however, aren't about to dole out significant money to Sproles when they believe they are already set with RBs Ryan Mathews and Mike Tolbert. But from what we're told, neither of them can match Sproles in the pass-blocking department, nor can they catch the ball as effectively; Sproles had a team-high 59 receptions in '10. San Diego could try to snag a scatback in the later rounds of the draft, but Sproles will be missed for his ability to help protect — and at times bail out — QB Philip Rivers.

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