Peter King recently joined The Dan Patrick Show to offer his two cents on some of the bigger fish in this year's free-agent pool.
When Patrick picked King's brain on the subject of Darren Sproles' possible wooers, the longtime columnist mentioned:
I think it depends how the Chiefs are sitting with their backfield situation once free agency shakes out. ... I don't think he's done. I think he was impressive in the playoffs this year in his very limited role. He's still got some explosive plays left in him, and I think he's going to make somebody a good, reasonably priced, say $2-million-a-year, acquisition.
Sproles is a walking mismatch who, like Dexter McCluster, can fulfill a variety of roles and present and array of looks.
Playing four years at Kansas State, he has local roots, and pairing him with Charles would create a pick-your-poison scenario for coordinators, particularly on third downs.
Despite a seemingly fragile frame, Sproles has been relatively durable throughout his career, and while his age lies on the wrong side of 30 (for skill positions, at least), he still ranks as one of the top open-field magicians in today's game.
Also, when juxtaposed with McCluster, Sproles' talents should account for a smaller slice of a team's 2014 cap share.
McCluster is five years younger, and his production has steadily increased throughout each of his four seasons. Conversely, in all three facets (rushing, receiving, returning), Sproles' output has trended downward since 2011.
On top of that, Jamaal Charles and Knile Davis will enjoy the lion's share of backfield touches. Sproles' talent justifies a healthy amount of playing time, but in order for him to see comparable snaps within the Chiefs offense, he'd likely have to convert to a full-time role in the slot.
That, in turn, would sprout another batch of questions.
Buy or Sell: Sell
From a receiving standpoint, Sproles' numbers still trump McCluster's on an annual basis. That being said, playing alongside Drew Brees will swell any receiver's stats, while breaking a huddle with Charles will have the opposite effect.
From a franchise's perspective, getting older at a position is only deemed sensible if the elder player offers more value for the foreseeable future. In all likelihood, that won't hold true in this particular case.
The proverbial nail in the hypothetical coffin? In the above video, B/R's Mike Freeman notes that Washington is in the driver's seat for Sproles' services, while New England might also emerge from the shadows and make a run at the backfield blur.