Monday, June 27, 2011
Your Call: Darren Sharper's future
By Pat Yasinskas
The results are in for our Call It poll on Darren Sharper's future in New Orleans and the majority spoke quite loudly.
We asked if the Saints will re-sign the veteran safety and 68 percent of you said they will. That’s great and I totally understand that Sharper’s a fan favorite and most you were voting with your hearts. It’s understandable. In his first season (2009) with the Saints, Sharper came in, helped transform the defense and helped the franchise to its first Super Bowl title.
But the reality is Sharper is 35 and an unrestricted free agent. Malcolm Jenkins emerged last year and should be the free safety for the long term. Strong safety Roman Harper will be an unrestricted free agent and there’s no guarantee the Saints will keep him.
If Harper leaves, it’s at least possible the Saints could re-sign Sharper and move him or Jenkins to strong safety. But it’s also possible the Saints could re-sign Harper or go out and find another strong safety.
Would Sharper be happy to stay in New Orleans and accept a backup role, which probably would come with a contract that pays backup money? Yeah, it’s possible, because Sharper seems to like it in New Orleans.
But sentiments and past loyalties aren’t the deciding factor in these situations. I’m not ruling out Sharper returning to New Orleans, but I think there’s a decent chance he could land elsewhere.
He still could start elsewhere. I don’t think money is the real issue with Sharper. But he’s a proud guy, and I’m not sure he’d be content in a backup role. If someone else is dangling the chance to be a starter in front of him, I think there’s a good chance Sharper takes it.