Sproles Not at Eagles OTAs, But Pederson Expects Him Back Soon

Doug Pederson said he's been in touch with veteran running back Darren Sproles during his absence from voluntary offseason workouts and said he expects the Pro Bowler to be back soon.

Pederson confirmed Sproles has missed all the voluntary sessions, as has Fletcher Cox. Sam Bradford missed the first two weeks before finally reporting.

Mandatory practices begin June 7.

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"He and I have been in direct communication," Pederson said of Sproles Tuesday after a minicamp practice at the NovaCare Complex.

"We've been talking all offseason. I have no issues with Darren. I fully expect him to be here for the mandatory camp. But again, this is a voluntary program so I can't fault him for not being here."

Sproles is one of the Eagles' few proven playmakers. He has four punt return touchdowns in his two years with the Eagles along with 95 receptions for 775 yards and 140 rushes for 646 yards and nine touchdowns.

Sproles turns 33 next month.

There was an NFL Network report Tuesday that linked Sproles' absence with calls to the Eagles during the draft from teams interested in acquiring Sproles.

But Pederson said that isn't the case. He said the Eagles were never interested in trading Sproles.

"We had no (desire) to do that whatsoever," Pederson said. "I want Darren Sproles on this football team. We want him on this football team. He's a big part of this football team. And that's where we're at."

Sproles, Frank Gore and DeAngelo Williams are the only running backs 32 years or older who received more than 30 carries last year. All turn or turned 33 this spring.

Pederson said Sproles is skipping voluntary practices because of his age and to spend time with his family.

"I think where he is in his career, I've been there before too, where sometimes you want that break," Pederson said.

"I know with him and his family being apart during the season, this is a time for him to really spend quality time with his family.

"He knows what it takes to get himself ready to go, and I fully expect him to be ready in a couple weeks."

Pederson said he still hasn't spoken to Fletcher Cox, although he has tried.

Cox is the other Eagle under contract who hasn't been at voluntary practices.

Cox is scheduled to earn $7.799 million this year, but the Eagles and Cox have exchanged contract offers as they continue to try to get a deal done this offseason.

"I have not talked to him," Pederson said. "I've reached out a couple times. Obviously, we want him here, I want him here, but again it's part of the offseason."

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