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Darren Sproles signs contract extension with Eagles

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Darren Sproles isn't going anywhere.

The Philadelphia Eagles announced Friday they agreed to a one-year contract extension that will keep the running back in town through 2017.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported that the added year is worth $4.5 million, per a source. The sides have been working on an extension since Sproles reported to minicamp in June. The back was set to make $3.5 million this season, but Philly moved some money into 2017 with the extension, per Rapoport.

"When you talk about leadership, work ethic, character, and then production -- he's made the last two Pro Bowls -- he just exemplifies everything that we want to be and as we look at it," said Howie Roseman, Eagles executive vice president of football operations, to reporters Friday. "He's so important to this team on and off the field, it's a no brainer from our perspective."

The move to add a year for the shifty back and explosive return man comes on the heels of the Eagles fielding trade calls for the running back during the NFL draft, Rapoport reported in May. At the time, Sproles wasn't frustrated or peeved by the trade news. His willingness to sign an extension shows he understands the business.

Sproles led the NFL in both punt return yards (446) and punt return touchdowns (two) last season. Since 2007 he's the NFL's all purpose yards leader (16,207) and leads all running backs in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.

At 33 years old, Sproles still owns a big role in Philly. Not only will he return punts, but he is set to be a major factor out of the backfield. With presumptive starter Ryan Mathews sitting out the beginning of camp with an injury, it's Sproles who's taking the starting snaps. The shifty pass-catcher projects well in coach Doug Pederson's offense.

A young Eagles backfield that consists of two rookies -- Wendell Smallwood and Cedric O'Neal -- and fourth-year back Kenjon Barner could get even younger in 2017. Sproles' leadership in the running back room should not be discounted. Philadelphia made sure his voice will be around another year.

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