Darren Sharper is still hoping to land a big contract with another team after a showcasing to the NFL he still has what it takes by co-leading the league in interceptions last season as a Saint.
Sharper of course was cast off by the Minnesota Vikings prior to the start of the 2009 season for lack of production before landing in New Orleans on a one year contract worth roughly 1.7M.
It turns out of course that Sharper’s decline in Minnesota was more because of the defensive scheme employed there, a Cover 2, and that he simply was not being utilized seemingly relegated to less and less playing time.
In the Saints base 4-3 scheme defensive coordinator Gregg Williams allowed Sharper to lurk and free lance as he saw fit in the backfield resulting in 71 tackles,15 pass deflections, 9 interceptions three of which he returned for touchdowns resulting in a new NFL record in return yards with 376.
After such a phenomenal season it was speculated the Saints would place the franchise tag on him guaranteeing he stayed with the defending Super Bowl champions. That move would have guaranteed Sharper more than 6M on a one year contract.
The Saints instead opted to not franchise him and let the chips fall where they may refusing to overpay for the 34 year old safety who is coming off knee surgery he underwent this off season.
Now Sharper was offered a deal by the team to remain in New Orleans, Sharper however doesn’t feel the money offered is on par with the talent he brings to the field prompting him to call out the Saints and famously say they were not “showing him the love”.
The Saints aren’t budging on the matter and although they have stated they would like Sharper back their drafting of corner back Patrick Robinson with the 32nd pick in this years draft is a good indication they are prepared to move on without him.
Malcolm Jenkins is the safety net for the team and likely if Sharper bugs out for some other franchise Jenkins would be converted from corner to safety to take his place, a position many feel he would become an instant Pro Bowler.
Sharper has not been very active this off-season mainly because he has been recovering from knee surgery only meeting with the Chicago Bears in an extremely informal meet and greet only to gauge where he was at in his recovery.
Since then the Bears have moved on drafting and signing free agents at the safety position thus closing the door to Sharper in the windy city.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have now thrown their hat into the mix for Sharper’s services after experiencing a plethora of issues at the safety position trying many players there including two different starters during the 2009 season.
Sharper cannot be considered anything more than a short-term solution to a big problem and surely he is hoping to been “shown the love” by the Jaguars, maybe just maybe they will be stupid enough to do it.