Safety Darren Sharper returns an interception 97 yards for the touchdown against the Eagles (Source:

Saints Pro Bowl Safety Darren Sharper In Chicago To Visit With Bears

The Saints decided not to franchise Pro Bowl safety Darren Sharper, instead opting to let him test the waters of free agency, a move Sharper himself scoffed at after stating the Saints were willing to let him go after not placing the franchise tag on him.

Well the Saints probably don’t want him to go but surely they were not willing to pay Sharper 6.5M either, an amount that he would have been guaranteed on a one year contract if they had indeed franchised him.

Now the top suitor for his services this season, the Chicago Bears, will look to get first crack at the 34 year old safety as Sharper has made the trip to Chicago to sit and talk with the franchise and it’s head coach Lovie Smith.

Most likely Sharper is only testing the waters to see what type of money he can command from another club for a basis for negotiation to re-sign with the Saints, only time will truly tell where the chips fall.

If Sharper is swayed by the Bears he will return to the NFC North division where he has spent 12 years of his career with the Green Bay Packers followed by the Minnesota Vikings.

It will also mark his return to a Cover 2 defensive scheme, one which Sharper himself admits limits his ability to make plays and do what he does best, pick off passes. That alone coupled with his desire to stay with a true Super Bowl contender in the Saints make the odds of the Bears landing him slim to none.

Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams allows Sharper to quarterback the secondary and “lurk” in an effort to make plays on the ball. This style of defense allows Sharper to play aggressive and trust his instincts which was a major factor in him joining the Saints prior to the 2009 season.

It worked out so well in fact that Sharper co-lead the NFL with nine interceptions, score three touchdowns and set a new NFL record for return yardage from picks with 376.

Sharper however has gone on record stating his desire to play for a team with a strong and loyal fan base and also his level of respect for head coach Lovie Smith.

“Coach Lovie Smith, I have the most respect for him,” said Sharper via the Chicago Tribune. “I’ve played against him for so many years and seen how he’s built that program in Chicago. I’m a firm believer in what he’s doing up there. I love the Chicago fans. Wherever I go, I want to go to a great fan base, and Chicago has one of the best fan bases of all the teams in the NFL

He also had a little to say about the Cover 2 scheme the Bears run.

“As far as playing the Cover 2, I think the numbers as far as interceptions won’t be as high as compared to the system I played in under Gregg Williams. I’m able to play a lot more areas of the field. In the Cover 2 system, you’re in one spot most of the time and if the ball doesn’t come your way, you can’t get to the ball. But you can be successful in the Cover 2.

Sharper needs to garner more than just interest from the Bears to drive his price tag up in New Orleans, at this point it seems far fetched that he won’t end up back with the Saints barring a deserved pay raise on a two year deal.

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Tags: 2010 Free Agency Period Chicago Bears Darren Sharper Lovie Smith New Orleans Saints

  • Mark Sealy

    The Saints were in a catch 22. If they franchies Tag him he would be upset, but since they didn’t it looks to him they don’t care. That is not the case. The case is they can’t afford to pay him 6.5 million a year when they have other free agents they need to sign too. They will see how much other teams offer him and counter it to be fare to him. WITH OUT SHARPER no super bowl next year. Sharper, Vilma, Ellis anchors that deffence with Porter and Greer healthty you have a chance to repeat!

  • Theresa

    Darren please come to Chicago, we need you here the Bears have been hurting in that position for a long while now and it’s time to get some experience in that position. And we do have a strong fan base in this city. Win or lose the fan’s love their Chicago team’s.

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  • kenny

    if he leaves, he will be like joe horn with his stupid comments

  • Eddie

    Saints should have keep all great players and teams and pay them if not then saints will be never win superbowl for long time? I can feel that Darren Sharpen will be laugh about saints loser again if he go to chicago I think chicago are stink city bad place and no good chicago players, I always watch all teams all they using money and no good play on games, be think about Darren Sharper is very important in the world…please make darren sharpen stay on saints team forever… Its up to Saints responsible for Darren’s danger on games… I choose him to stay on Saints forever! Or It’ll be sad for saints loser without Darren Shaper!!!!!!!! be think about it!!!!!!!!! who dat better hold him! thanks!

    • Keith Null

      I agree that the Saints should do everything in their power to retain Sharper but if another team comes out and makes him a blockbuster deal the Saints will not be willing to overpay to have him. I think ultimately he land back in New Orleans anyways.

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  • willie

    i hope he goes to chicago saints suck

    • MikeS

      lil willie on the other hand is a complete idiot!

  • Ted

    New Orleans Saints superbowl champs=Pierre Thomas GONE, Mike Bell GONE, Darren Sharpper GONE, Scott Fujita GONE.

    • MikeS

      Ted…wrong, right, wrong, right…hmmm you are only half an idiot!

  • http://whodatdish the man that has darren sharper’s shoes that he wore in green bay

    Darren Sharper should go to the bears the bears just need a good saftey to win the super bowl thats why they didn’t beat the colts they didn’t have asaftey and now they have jullius peppers jay cutler chester taylor and if they got darren that would be awesome and the bears would win the super bowl but they should also get t.o or tory holt but all we need to win the super bowl is darren sharper

  • Rudy

    darren would b another prize 2 have n Chicago.with harris back and mayb wright will step up and have tillman our defence will b unbreakable.Chicago sign em we need em.Go Bears!!!

    • asshole mna

      your a fuckin dumb bitch

      • cooldud

        yeah right on asshole mna

  • Rudy

    we dnt need T.O or holt our wrs r good enough to win the super bowl they just need to run the right routes and cutler will not have alot of ints this yr.