Friday, April 23, 2010

Saints Nation: Is the Writing on the Wall for Darren Sharper?

I couldn't help but think last night when the Saints selected cornerback Patrick Robinson that it meant, by association, that Darren Sharper isn't coming back to the team. The more I think about it, it's time to come to terms with the writing that's on the wall. Darren Sharper isn't coming back, and Patrick Robinson was drafted to replace Malcolm Jenkins as a backup cornerback. Jenkins, in turn, will be moved to free safety and take over for Sharper. That's not anything the Saints front office are coming out and saying, it's just a gut feeling on my part. We all saw how Jenkins played in the SuperBowl. The guy is ready to start at the NFL level, especially at free safety where his lack of speed is less of an issue, and his nose for the ball is more pronounced.

Sharper has already said that the Saints haven't shown him "enough love". Mickey Loomis countered that he had all the love in the world for Darren Sharper, just not "all the money in the world". What that tells me is the Saints offered a contract, and Sharper didn't like the terms. Since then, there's been no action and Sharper has visited with other teams trying to find a suitable offer. Sharper has made it clear he's looking for the highest bidder out there. The Saints have made it clear as of yesterday that they're ready to move on without him.

I won't go as far as to say this case is closed. After all, Sharper is probably 2 or 3 years away from retiring, and I could still see him back with the Saints if nothing else works out. At that point, Robinson would start further down the depth chart and Jenkins' move to free safety could be delayed. I don't think it's impossible Sharper will be back if he doesn't get an offer he's happy with elsewhere and he comes to terms with sucking it up and taking a lower offer.

At the end of the day, though, where there's smoke there's usually fire. If you're adding up one and one, then two says Sharper is pretty much gone. Think about it, he's still out there looking for the best contract... the Saints drafted a defensive back in the first round and appear ready to move on. He doesn't think the Saints are showing enough love... He thinks the Jets are a free safety away from being a SuperBowl contender... yadda yadda. It all adds up to him not being back in a Saints uniform. I hate to say it because he was the defensive MVP last year for the Saints and maybe the league, but I think it's time we call a spade a spade. The writing is on the wall.