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QBREES9 02-19-2010 10:51 AM

New Orleans Saints' Darren Sharper planning for the future
 
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New Orleans Saints' Darren Sharper planning for the future
By Nakia Hogan, The Times-Picayune

At the seasoned age of 34 and finally with a Super Bowl title, New Orleans Saints All-Pro free safety Darren Sharper has shifted some of his focus to life after football.

Starting next week, Sharper will move from being one of the Saints' much-talked-about playmakers to just another talking head. He'll work as an offseason analyst for the NFL Network.
That's just another perk that comes with being a star on the Super Bowl champion roster.
While several of his teammates have taken to traveling around the country, hosting parties, doing interviews with national talk shows and being the guest of honor at autograph signings, Sharper is fine-tuning his other professional field.
He did join fellow Saints Pierre Thomas and Roman Harper in a skit on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" earlier this week, however.
"More of the things that I am doing are geared toward getting myself ready for after football, " Sharper said. "I'm going to do a lot of broadcasting stuff."
Sharper hasn't given up on his desire to play football though. He said he's just maximizing his star status after helping the Saints to the first Super Bowl title in the franchise's 43-year history.
Since the 31-17 victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Feb. 7, Shaper said his life has been a whirlwind of excitement.
His phone hasn't stopped ringing since the confetti began to drop at Sun Life Stadium that night. He said he understands life may never be the same for him or his teammates.
"My phone has rung off the hook, constantly, " Sharper said. "It always rung pretty frequently, now it's off the hook. You are being pulled in a lot of different directions now."
But it's fun, he added.
"It was just an unbelievable feeling, " Sharper said. "And I really believe anyone that was apart of it really put their best effort forward. That's why you kind of appreciate it more so, because you know how hard everyone in the organization worked.
"It can get to the point to where there are not too many places you can go. But that's all right. We understand that comes with the territory, and we appreciate it."
Sharper, who'll be one of the Saints' nine unrestricted free agents, said he expects to return to the Saints next season.
While it has been widely speculated that the Saints will use the franchise tag on Sharper, the safety said he prefers a multi-year contract. If the Saints use the franchise tag, he'll be guaranteed about $6.455 million for the season before becoming an unrestricted free agent again in 2011.
Or they could work out a longer-term deal. Some other teams might make big offers to try to steal Sharper away, but at his age, he won't get mega-millions. And chances are he'll want to stay in New Orleans, where he was such a great fit in coordinator Gregg Williams' defense.
When Sharper came to the Saints last season as an unrestricted free agent, he wasn't highly sought and signed with the Saints for one season at $1.7 million.
Sharper said he hopes his agent, Joel Segal, and Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis can reach a deal.
"I would want a longer-term deal, " Sharper said. "I hope both sides can reach a deal. If I have anything to say, I definitely want to come back. I don't want to spoil my fans because they have got a lot of great fans in New Orleans. So hopefully, I can get back for a couple more years to keep doing the Sharper Shake for them."
Sharper, who was selected to his fifth Pro Bowl this season, tied for the NFL lead with nine interceptions and returned three for touchdowns. His 376 interception return yards are an NFL record.
He isn't through, however. His TV gig is only an offseason job. He hopes he'll be celebrating with the Saints like this again after next season.
"That was one of the things that I said about next season, that repeating was one of the goals, " Sharper said. "I had a great time here. And my initial want is to come back here. I like the guys I am playing with, love the organization. So hopefully, something can get worked out."

JoanieNTX 02-19-2010 12:12 PM

Re: New Orleans Saints' Darren Sharper planning for the future
 
I hope so, too, Darren! You're a great fit for this organization, and we fans DO love ya!

Danno 02-19-2010 12:36 PM

Re: New Orleans Saints' Darren Sharper planning for the future
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by JoanieNTX (Post 209278)
I hope so, too, Darren! You're a great fit for this organization, and we fans DO love ya!

Yes we do, not to mention you still have a couple young safties we need you to tutor/mentor for at least another year.

UK_WhoDat 02-19-2010 05:50 PM

Re: New Orleans Saints' Darren Sharper planning for the future
 
We need Sharper. So here's hoping........

MatthewT 02-19-2010 06:51 PM

Re: New Orleans Saints' Darren Sharper planning for the future
 
Shouldn't have an issue getting at least a 2 yr deal out of the Saints. That would seem like the perfect number, gives the Saints time to develop long term replacement.

pumpkindriver 02-19-2010 08:12 PM

Re: New Orleans Saints' Darren Sharper planning for the future
 
Yep, I think a 2 year deal is good too. I'm sure Mickey Loomis and the front office have plans on Sharper's future already.

Choupique 02-19-2010 08:41 PM

Re: New Orleans Saints' Darren Sharper planning for the future
 
I can't wait to hear his response to the Saints "dirty hits" on QBs.

The Who Dat Nation now has a mouthpiece in the Pansy Nation Network!

Saintswrath 02-19-2010 10:16 PM

Re: New Orleans Saints' Darren Sharper planning for the future
 
I wouldn't let Darren sharper go anywhere, M. Loomis go get em!

strato 02-19-2010 10:42 PM

Re: New Orleans Saints' Darren Sharper planning for the future
 
Shaper wil be shakin for the Saints next year you can bank on it..

RockyMountainSaint 02-19-2010 11:51 PM

Re: New Orleans Saints' Darren Sharper planning for the future
 
He wil be back. One way or another.

The interviews that he gave all season long pointed to his being on TV after his career.

Smart, engaging, insightful and entertaining dude.

Q. You are a machine! As always, greatly appreciated.


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