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Luda34 06-02-2011 07:29 AM

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Safety Darren Sharper of the New Orleans Saints is fully prepared to play a 15th season in the NFL even if it isn't with the team he won a Super Bowl with a little over one year ago. The problem is that if the NFL doesn't end up having a season in 2011 then he may be thinking of doing something else with his life and hanging up the cleats for good.

The NFL's active leader in interceptions (63), Sharper is focused on football at the current time but that could all change.

"If there's no football in the fall, I'll have to start looking at other options -- maybe some television, or whatever," said Sharper, 35. "But right now, my goal and my focus is playing football and that's why I'm working out now to be ready for the season ... if it starts."
While it is known that Sharper prefers to stay in New Orleans as he did by signing a one-year contract the past two seasons, he wouldn't object to just being on a team anywhere this season. The formidable safety has been practicing with the Saints players at Tulane University as they've gathered for player organized workouts put together by Drew Brees.

Continuing on as to the affection he has grown for this city as a whole, Sharper will host a charity event on July 23 at Zephyr Field in Metairie. The event called "Home Runs for Kids" will seek to raise money for a variety of Louisiana charities. There will be a monster truck and boat show, a tailgating fest, and even a drunk tank to go along with the home run derby to be held.

The Saints are also holding a raffle to spend a day with the team and the proceeds from it are also going to various charitable organizations.

Sharper is trying to stay busy and also in shape as the normally scheduled beginning of training camp draws ever closer. It's not known exactly how this long lockout will harm or help the rookies and veterans, but the five-time Pro Bowl safety has an idea.

It's going to benefit older guys that have played the game and know how to play the game," Sharper said. "The thing that I'm looking forward to is, if it gets worked out and it's only a couple weeks of teams being able to prepare, especially offenses being able to prepare and get on timing, I think I'm going to have a great opportunity to take advantage of a lot of those missed, off-timed passes.

So I'm a little bit excited to see how it's going to work out."
Last year was a bit of a hard one for Sharper after coming off a nine-pick season in 2009 when the Saints won their first Super Bowl. 2010 was marred by injuries and offseason micro-fracture surgery that limited Sharper's playing time considerably. That and the emergence of Malcolm Jenkins in his new position at safety.

Only playing in eight games though, starting one of them, and not having a single interception is not the way this veteran wants to end his career.


"I've never dealt with a season as frustrating as the past year was, not only not getting back to the Super Bowl and having a chance to repeat, but just not being healthy all year long, nagging injuries, not being able to play like myself," Sharper said. "If I'm going to go out and it's going to be my last year, I want to make sure I go out and leave a mark that year and play at the level that I've played throughout my career. I don't want to be remembered as a guy that hobbled his way out of the league. So that's a little bit of motivation that I have right now."
Not only the experience and knowledge of Sharper is valuable to the Saints though. It is his expertise, leadership, and the fact that he still can run with the best of them at 35 years of age that makes him so important to this team. When he's on the field, opposing quarterbacks look the other way. His teaching of younger players could make quarterbacks do the same thing even when he's not on the field for the Saints.

Hopefully this labor issue between the NFL owners and players gets resolved soon as it would be a shame to see a career end without number 42 stepping out onto the field at least one more time.



Darren Sharper says he may retire if season cancelled - ESPN

Halo 06-02-2011 02:29 PM

Prediction: There will be football, Sharper will play in the NFL for his last season...

SmashMouth 06-02-2011 02:37 PM


Originally Posted by Halo (Post 302660)
Prediction: There will be football, Sharper will play in the NFL for his last season...

Good thing I'm sitting down .... lol.

Luda34 06-02-2011 03:49 PM

He will be back and I hope we sign him for one more year

AlaskaSaints 06-02-2011 04:18 PM

Great attitude and perspective. I'm a fan.


breesfan27 06-02-2011 06:09 PM

I would hate to see him retire, but if he does, at least he went out on top.

QBREES9 06-03-2011 08:49 PM

One more year, one more year !!!!

Rugby Saint II 06-03-2011 09:27 PM

Darren Sharper is hoping for a one year contract offer of at least $1 with the New Orleans Saints. I sincerely believe that he would make the same impact that he did in our Superbowl season if he were to stay in NO and be used sparingly until later in the season. Jenkins is a future Superstar. I do hope we resign Harper.

SaintPauly 06-04-2011 12:31 PM

"and even a drunk tank to go along with the home run derby to be held."

Wow.... Drunken home run derby? This sounds like one hell of a fundraiser....

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