Darren Sharper upset with Saints

Darren Sharper, who is an unrestricted free agent, is a little miffed after the Saints told him that they wouldn’t use their franchise tag on him this offseason.

From NFL.com:

“They said they want me back, but if you want someone back, why are you going to let them test the market?,” Sharper said in a telephone interview Tuesday. “I don’t know how much they want me back if they’re allowing other teams to bid for my services. Being in this situation before, if a team is willing to let you test the market, they’re willing to let you go.”

Sharper did say that he hopes things will work out with the Saints, but also noted that he won’t come as cheap as he did last year ($1.7 million). He didn’t have many suitors last offseason, but he’s coming off a Pro Bowl season and says that he has “a couple of good years” left in him.

Personally, I think Sharper is being a little too sensitive here. Had the Saints used their franchise tag on him, they’d have to pay him $6.455 million next season, which is way too much – even for a player as productive as Sharper was. It’s not that they don’t want him back, they just don’t want to pay a 34-year-old safety over six million when he was clearly motivated last year while playing on a one-year deal. It just doesn’t make much sense financially.

Chances are, Sharper will wind up back in New Orleans as long as the Saints offer him a fair deal. Like Sharper said, he knows the system and the Saints were much more successful with him in their defensive backfield than they were without him. But he has to step into their shoes and understand that they’re not going to shell out upwards of $6.5 million to retain an aging safety.


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