Free safety Darren Sharper had a season for the ages in 2009, intercepting nine passes while setting a new NFL return yardage record with 376 total yards. He was also a major contributor in helping the Saints win their first ever Superbowl championship.
Sharper started the 2010 season the physically unable to perform list (PUP) after undergoing micro-fracture knee surgery. In his place the Saints converted former first round pick Malcolm Jenkins from corner to safety, and Jenkins has never looked back.
Fast forward to the 2011 off-season and Sharper was hoping to sign with a team willing to give him the opportunity to start. His interest wasn’t extremely high to be Jenkins primary backup with the Saints.
Suitors for Sharper were not plentiful, but the New England Patriots seemed to the most interested after bringing him in for workout. Belichick though decided to go another direction, and Sharper was once again on the prowl for a new team.
Ironically that new team could be his old team the New Orleans Saints.
Sharper hints at return to Saints: Veteran free agent S Darren Sharper said via SportsNola.com that his agent has recently talked to the Saints and that something is “on the horizon” as far as him returning to the Saints now that they have returned from a week in California. A possible Sharper signing could shore up depth at FS behind Malcolm Jenkins. — Larry Holder
That’s great news for the Saints who have some serious question marks in the secondary, primarily when it comes to depth at free safety and even strong safety.
Shaper is already very familiar with the Saints defense and did participate in off-season workouts with the team on the campus of Tulane University. Even at 35 years old, he represent a valuable addition to the secondary.