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Memo to Darren Sharper: 'Love' and free agency don't mix

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Memo to Darren Sharper: 'Love' and free agency don't mix Written by Brian Allee-Walsh, NewOrleans.Com's Saints Beat Brian Allee-Walsh's "If the love was right, that would have been taken care of. The love would have been reciprocated." - New Orleans ...

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Old 03-12-2010, 10:15 AM   #1
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Memo to Darren Sharper: 'Love' and free agency don't mix

Memo to Darren Sharper: 'Love' and free agency don't mix

Written by Brian Allee-Walsh, NewOrleans.Com's Saints Beat Brian Allee-Walsh's

"If the love was right, that would have been taken care of. The love would have been reciprocated." - New Orleans Saints unrestricted free agent safety Darren Sharper.

NEW ORLEANS – I have covered the Saints and the NFL for 23 years.

I have reported, heard and read a lot of silly statements made by adult men on both sides of the negotiating table. Never - I repeat NEVER - have I come across such blather as the aforementioned statement made by Darren Sharper that appeared in Thursday morning's Times-Picayune.

LOVE! Are you kidding me? OMG!

I seldom get involved in a contract negotiation but Sharper's comments have moved me to respond. Let me preface my rant by saying that I respect Sharper. He is smart, articulate and abundantly charismatic, with a made-for-TV smile that one day will serve him well in an NFL analyst's role. On top of that, he's a pretty fair-to-middlin' free safety who flourished playing centerfield in Gregg Williams' controlled mayhem.

Sharper deserved all the post-season honors that came his way after returning three of his nine interceptions for touchdowns. In fact, he made a strong case for The Associated Press 2009 Defensive Player of the Year that ultimately went to my selection, Green Bay cornerback Charles Woodson.

In fairness, Sharper made his share of mistakes and his production tailed off at the end of the season, perhaps, in part because of an injured left knee that required minor surgery last week.

But to say, or even infer, that he might take his game elsewhere because Saints GM Mickey Loomis didn't show him enough "love" during preliminary contract negotiations is absolutely absurd. I understand that he"s pandering to Who Dat Nation and trying to win their support but don't insult their intelligence. It reflects poorly on Sharper.

I don"t pretend to know what has been said between the parties. I only know this:

• Saints officials would have made a mistake to place the franchise tag on a 34-year-old player, which, in essence, would have guaranteed him more than $6 million in base salary next season. Again, he is a good player, not a great player, whose age is working against him. A tougher critic might even suggest he is a by-product of Williams' see-ball, get-ball defense, and can be replaced by a less expensive, younger, faster, stronger player.

• Under the CBA rules that remain in effect, Sharper now is afforded an opportunity to seek the necessary "love" from the other 31 NFL teams (New York Jets or Chicago?) that apparently is missing in New Orleans. That is his right as an UFA.

It appears to me that Sharper is trying to recoup the money that he potentially lost a year ago by signing a one-year contract that featured a $1.2 million base salary and an additional $500,000 in signing and roster bonuses.

Based on his production and the total amount of his contract ($1.7 million), I'd say Sharper got hosed and the Saints made a hell of a deal. But to blame Saints officials is wrong. To the best of my knowledge, Loomis, Williams and Coach Sean Payton didn"t hold a gun to the head of Sharper or his agent, Joel Segal, and demand them to sign the contract.

Perhaps, there is a very good explanation why Sharper's contract did not include any playing incentives or performance bonuses, such as making the Pro Bowl and All-Pro teams or leading the NFL in INTs and pick sixes.

Remember, Sharper had been released by the Minnesota Vikings and teams weren't exactly knocking down the door to sign him.

Now, it appears Sharper's ego is bruised because Saints officials aren't showing him the proper "love." Used in this context, ‘‘love" means money. It could even mean respect.

The bottom line is this: Sharper would still be a Saint today and not trying to shop his wares if team officials had "shown him the money" prior to the start of free agency. Period. End of story.

I think I speak for all of Who Dat Nation when I say, here's hoping that the two sides kiss and make up soon. My suggestion to them is to find a love shack somewhere in the French Quarter. Ink the pact at a romantic candlelight dinner or under a full moon at water's edge.

Until then, I can only wonder, "What's Love Got to Do with It?"

My sincerest apologies to Tina Turner.



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Old 03-12-2010, 10:59 AM   #2
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Re: Memo to Darren Sharper: 'Love' and free agency don't mix

Ha ha funny write up and pretty spot on...
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Old 03-12-2010, 09:37 PM   #3
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Re: Memo to Darren Sharper: 'Love' and free agency don't mix

he simply said what we all were thinking
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Old 03-12-2010, 10:02 PM   #4
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Re: Memo to Darren Sharper: 'Love' and free agency don't mix

On this week's episode of "As the Fleur-de-lis Turns"

Sharper, jilted by his team's decision not to put the franchise tag on him, declare's his pain by stating,
"If the love was right, that would have been taken care of."
Tune in next week for the DRAMATIC conclusion of, "As the Fleur-de-lis Turns"
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Old 03-14-2010, 02:50 PM   #5
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Re: Memo to Darren Sharper: 'Love' and free agency don't mix

It comes down to money and all the slang words that we call it including love. In my opinion Sharper made a substantial impact with the defense. He made some key IT's and made the better QB's throw away from him. Agreed when he was injured he struggled, when he was out we had some terrible games at the end of the season. I agree with QBrees9 make the deal work for both sides and keep in black and gold. We already lost Fujita who I considered part of the Williams tight fabric as well.
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Old 03-14-2010, 05:37 PM   #6
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Re: Memo to Darren Sharper: 'Love' and free agency don't mix

On the downside of his career, just won a Superbowl and wants almost 4 million for 2 years. No one and I repeat no one is going to give him the money he wants and if he keeps his petty bull**** up coach and Loomis need to tell him to take a freakin hike. This is probably exactly why he got no other offers than from us last year.
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Old 03-14-2010, 11:31 PM   #7
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Re: Memo to Darren Sharper: 'Love' and free agency don't mix

Iiiiiiiiii, as some of us have posted before, for this very reason, players need to be quiet and let their lawyer/agent take care of the business behind closed doors.
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Old 03-16-2010, 04:09 AM   #8
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Re: Memo to Darren Sharper: 'Love' and free agency don't mix

Originally Posted by CheramieIII View Post
On the downside of his career, just won a Superbowl and wants almost 4 million for 2 years. No one and I repeat no one is going to give him the money he wants and if he keeps his petty bull**** up coach and Loomis need to tell him to take a freakin hike. This is probably exactly why he got no other offers than from us last year.
Enter Mr. Jerry Jones.......
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Old 03-16-2010, 04:15 AM   #9
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Re: Memo to Darren Sharper: 'Love' and free agency don't mix

Here's what I think...

First of all...Sharper probably could give a crap what we think about him. This is probably his last chance to lobby for a big payday, and, IMO, there's nothing wrong with what he's doing. I personally don't feel that he owes me or anybody else, for that matter, anything.

If for a moment you could imagine this scenario. There are people who have been in NO for the last 43 years, and they only have 1 SB under their belt. Sharper is 1 for 1 and he feels like that could and should work to his advantage.

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Old 03-16-2010, 04:24 AM   #10
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Re: Memo to Darren Sharper: 'Love' and free agency don't mix

Would that be As The Fleur-De-Lis Turns, of the Not-So-Young's Getting Restless?

Originally Posted by breesfan27 View Post
On this week's episode of "As the Fleur-de-lis Turns"

Sharper, jilted by his team's decision not to put the franchise tag on him, declare's his pain by stating,


Tune in next week for the DRAMATIC conclusion of, "As the Fleur-de-lis Turns"
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