Note: Thanks to Typecast for breaking this news
Today is the last day that teams have to offer tenders to their restricted free agents, so we can expect to see lots of announcements. The biggest news today comes out of San Diego where the Chargers have reportedly changed their mind about Darren Sproles. Previously it was reported that they would let him test free agency, but today the San Diego Union Tribune is reporting that Sproles will get a 1st and 3rd round tender.
Normally this would mean paying Sproles a salary of $3.18 million, but part of the rules of restricted free agency require that teams give a 10% pay raise to their RFAs. This means that Sproles will be getting $7.27 million if he stays with the Chargers.
Restricted free agency ends on April 15th, so any teams interested in acquiring him will have to notify the Chargers by that date. They will then have until April 21st to match that offer.
My speculation is that the Chargers couldn't find a team anywhere that was willing to trade for Cromartie. They were shopping him in exchange for a running back but the only team interested was Detroit and they have no running backs to speak of. This saves the Chargers from having to draft a RB and will let Sproles be the featured back next year, something that he's been wanting to test.
Sproles apparently had meetings scheduled with Washington, St. Louis, Philadelphia and Kansas City, so the interest in him was clearly more than what the Chargers were expecting. The Tribune is reporting that the Chargers will still use him as a 3rd down back and a return specialist but will try to extend him to a long term deal.
This leaves the market for FA running backs even thinner with only Thomas Jones, Bryan Westbrook, LT, and Chester Taylor as big name backs that are free agents.