[Editor’s note: Though yours truly currently is making the trek to Tampa, there will be periodic opportunities to slide open the brand new official PFT laptop at the nearest Denny’s. We only hope that Ricky Manning, Jr. isn’t there.]
Veteran safety Darren Sharper, a 12-year veteran whose contract with the Vikings has expired, likely won’t be returning to Minnesota for a fifth season.
The thinking in league circles is that the Vikings won’t have the cap space to pay Sharper close to his market value, given that the team signed safety Madieu Williams as part of last year’s free-agent splurge.
The presence of Tyrell Johnson, a hard-hitting second-round pick in 2008, also could make Sharper a luxury that the team can’t afford.
We’ve already heard some speculation that the Saints might make a run at Sharper, as they attempt to beef up their defense in order to keep coach Sean Payton from getting fired.
Sharper spent the first eight years of his career with the Packers, before making the intra-division leap to Minnesota. He has 54 career interceptions, which currently ranks 18th on the all-time list.
Only four more picks would put Sharper in the top ten — and he needs only eight to tie Dick LeBeau and Dave Brown for seventh place with 62.
So, yeah, Dick LeBeau really should be in Canton, given his combined playing and coaching exploits. With a few more solid seasons, Sharper likely will have earned a spot, too.


  1. Take Carlos Roger too, New Orleans. But be warned, DB’s go to the Saints to be exploited (Look @ Jonathan David & Mike Mckenzie)

  2. See ya, Darren.
    You had a couple of good season in Minnesota, but this year it’s become clearly obvious that your age has caught up with you. Slow in coverage, poor reaction time, declining ball hawking skills and even worse tackling mean that you really won’t be missed next season,
    Best of luck to him in New Orleans, or wherever he ends up.

  3. I’m sorry to see the guy go but Enrage is absolutely on the mark. Sharper was a liability most of the time he was out on the field this year. He just doesn’t have the physical tools any longer.

  4. I don’t think it will be New Orleans. Saints have major cap problems and Vilma is #1 priotity on defense, not a 12 year vet.

  5. Enrage, you should be very gracious for the service that Sharper has provided for your team. It’s funny that a fan from a team who hasn’t done anything in 30 years is taking the arrogant approach by saying “see ya”. Sharper played very well for you guys, even if he has slowed down.
    I think you should worry about making the playoffs more often and then maybe winning a game while you’re there. I don’t think you should be snickering at Sharper leaving. I feel sorry for AP. This franchise is a joke and he probably will end up like LT. No ring and looking for another team.

  6. I agree with Enrage……..
    Darren was a spectacular addition to the Vikings and I
    will hate to see him go. But the age was showing, especially
    in the last year of his contract when most give that “special”
    effort to raise free agency stock. He fell short……
    Good luck Darren!!

  7. “as they attempt to beef up their defense in order to keep coach Sean Payton from getting fired.”
    Yeah, I’m sure that’s EXACTLY why they would go after Sharper. Please stop thinking SP’s job is in deep jeopardy…please…

  8. Another in agreement, thanks Darren, but it’s probably time for you and the Vikings to part ways. I still think he can contribute, but the Tampa-2 is not a good fit for him.
    Salary cap won’t be the reason he is back.
    Anyone watched the Vikings at all this year, you’d realize that he didn’t play that well physically, but did a great job in organizing the defense.

  9. Sharper has made real contributions to Minny’s defense since he arrived … however salary cap space isn’t why he won’t be back next year (as of today they are more than $20 million under the 2009-10 cap). It’s his grand total of 1 int. this season that will have him filling out a change of address form. A great player in his time. Now he’s a decent one with big salary expectations. Expectations that will have to be met somewhere else.

  10. Darren Sharper in the HOF? You got to be kidding me. He isn’t even an average safety when you consider over all play (passes defended, tackling near the line of scrimmage, being in the right spot at the right time) Darren Sharper is all about trying to pad his statistics with INT’s, no matter what the consequence to his team or teammates.
    A couple examples:
    1 The 49ers would have never won the playoff game vs. the Packers where TO catches the ball over the middle in the waning seconds of the game if Sharper would have been willing to actually lay some lumber on that play. Instead he stood by and watched like he had a ticket to the game. Sharper could play most games with eggs in his shoulder pads and not break either one.
    2 In one of his first games as a BIQUEEN against the Packers, he spent all week bragging about how it was his time to get some INT’s off of Brett Favre. During the game, he jumped on routes thinking only of the INT’s that turned out to be long TD’s for the Packers. Had he simply done his assigned job, they would have been short pass completions at best.
    Sharper always had a higher opinion of himself than is deserved. After years in GB, they were willing to give him a contract that reflected his overall level of play but he found a sucker in the BIQUEENs to give him an inflated contract. (He is not alone, they also overpaid for Jared Allen and Berrian) He is a step slower, doesn’t like to tackle unless forced to and loves to shoot off his mouth (just a month ago, he was saying the 2008 Vikings reminded him of the 96 Packers and were Superbowl bound….opps, he forgot to tell the Eagles who sent them home with yet another playoff loss).
    So please don’t insult us with HOF talk for Darren Sharper. If he gets in, it will because he bought a ticket to see the facility just like every other visitor.

  11. The only stats that ever interested Sharper were interceptions and TD’s. Tackles were neveron his agenda. If all safties played like him, there’d be a lot more with as many Int’s.
    I will miss seeing Driver and Jennings leaving him in their dust twice a year.

  12. To paraphrase a line from Kevin Costner in the Western “Open Range”: Sharper still has the heart, but he doesn’t have the legs.
    If you saw the Vikings play this season, and you know ANYTHING about football, it was quite obvious that Sharper – not the fastest guy in the world to start with – has slowed down … CONSIDERABLY. Either that, or he has forgotten how to take the proper angle to the ball.
    A couple of folks have insinuated that the Vikes should overpay for Sharper out of gratitude for past services rendered.
    Yeah, THAT’S how you win a championship. While they’re at it, maybe the Vikings can bring back Tarkenton, since they need a QB.
    Come to think of it, even though he has to be pushing 70, Tark would still be better than T-Joke.

  13. JimmySmith, instead of writing novels on the PFT message board you should start a blog. That way if any PFTers are in the mood for senseless drivel with minimal substance, they can read about it on your shitty blog. Anyone who thinks MN overpaid for Berrian and Allen is a retard, look at their TD and sack numbers. By the way, Green Bay has turned the home playoff loss into an art form you stupid ass. ATL, MIN, NYG, still believe in that Lambeau mystique?

  14. Obidan,
    Just a quick comment about the Saints cap room. I think the Saints have the 5th or 6th most cap room in the league at $32 million.
    That being said, I don’t think Sharper is a good pick up for the Saints. As has been said before, he’s getting older and at best this is a step sideways not a step up.

  15. lol Jimmy Smith, you almost sound like you’re jealous of the ViKINGS who sit atop the throne in the NFC North this season. Did you cry when Jared Allen got that safety on Aaron Rodgers? Is that why you think he’s overpaid. The guy had 14.5 sacks and kicked up a pass defense from last to 15th practically single handedly. I’d say that’s worth what he was paid.
    Don’t worry about the Vikings losing in the post season though, since the Pack certainly won’t be headed there anytime soon. How many game-ending interceptions do you think Rodgers will force next season?

  16. “Take Carlos Roger too, New Orleans. But be warned, DB’s go to the Saints to be exploited (Look @ Jonathan David & Mike Mckenzie) ”
    Mike McKenzie? You mean the CB who gave up all of 1 TD last year (in Week 13)? Yeah, he was exploited big time.

  17. Sharper was losing speed when the Pack let him go a few years ago. Don’t let the int’s deceive, he has been a liability in coverage situations for years.
    Now he can go to DB purgatory with MCKenzie in NO ….the final refuge of the Packer cast-offs.

  18. “Damn, now who’s gonna talk trash before the Packers/Vikings games and not back it up?”
    Sharper hasn’t been shit since he left the Pack. You can delude yourselves all you want Vikes fans but it’s true. His best years were with the Pack and his career went to die in Minneapolis.

  19. Wow, Packer fans sure turn on their ex-players. Why so much hate for a guy who helped your team win for so long?
    Sharper had a horrible year. Maybe he’s done; maybe he’ll bounce back and have one or two more productive years. Either way, the Vikings won’t bring him back. Tyrell Johnson was their top pick last year (2nd rounder; no 1st rounder due to the Jared Allen trade) and will be moved into a starting role.
    Yes Sharper should be in the Hall of Famer. He’s been a productive playmaker from the safety position for too long to be left out. The number of players who have scored 10 defensive TDs in their career is pretty small and I doubt anyone has ever done that and not been enshrined in Canton.

  20. “First and foremost, I consider myself an entertainer.” -Darrien Sharpier.
    Dude thinks he’s Will Smith. Except that Smith is willing to hit and play his assigned position rather than going for the INT and cheating up on ever play.
    For every INT Sharper has, he gets beat deep 10 times.
    The BiQueens were welcome to his “services.”

  21. Elaw6 says:
    January 25th, 2009 at 1:10 pm
    Take Carlos Roger too, New Orleans. But be warned, DB’s go to the Saints to be exploited (Look @ Jonathan David & Mike Mckenzie)
    Don’t know what you were watching but, MM has played well.

  22. Hey Jimmy Smith- did you say the Vikings overpaid for Jarred Allen? Are you high? They’ve overpaid for quite a few players but Jarred Allen is worth every penny. He continued to play with a separated shoulder and a sprained MCL. He’s a beast.

  23. Sharper is way overrated, especially these days. There is a lot more to playing the safety position than a gaudy INT total. Sharper takes too many chances. He’ll get more INTs than most safeties, but he gives up way too many big plays when he gambles and loses.

  24. Florio, forget Denny’s. A lot of atheletes hang out at the IHOP on south Dale Mabry. You’re better off going to Beef O’Brady’s.

  25. I always liked Darren, but his years are winding down. I would like to see him as a Viking next year, but it looks like he will be going away. Personally I thinks it’s a bad move due to the fact that I am not sold on Tyrell and Madieu is always injured. But the Vikings will get rid of Darren and then they will wonder what happened next year.

  26. sharper spent his prime with the packers. he has turned into a good leader for the defense since he jumped ship to the vikings though. i think this would be more evidenced if he learned to shut his mouth more. he does have a good number of interceptions over his career, but he has never been a good run stopper or cover guy. he is a great player at reading the quarterback, which has helped his interception totals. although i will say he was a fine player in his day, there is no reason to go overboard and put him in canton. he played with alot of talent around him, just like his brother did in his prime. back when jamie was a free agend, i was hoping the pack would put the brothers together. unlike most other packer fans on this post, i will just thank him for his contributions to the packers success over the years. he like jared allen, was over paid and i am glad the packers didn’t retain his “services” when we let him go to the hibitual overpayer, the vikings. anyone that doesn’t think jared allen is overpaid is on drugs. he is not a quarterback and he doesn’t deserve to be paid like one. he is very talented and a sack machine, but defensive ends don’t put you over the top. if the vikings had a more stable quarterback, the quarterback would have done more for the vikes than any defensive player alone could have done.
    chad pennington did more for the dolphins than jared allen did for the vikes.
    kurt warner did more for the cards than allen did for the vikes
    matt ryan (who i still think the vikes should have traded for instead of jared allen) (they could have packaged the first and two seconds to st louis for the #2 pick, one spot ahead of atlanta instead of trading them for jared allen) did more for atlanta than jared did for the vikes
    flacco did more for the ravens than allen did for the vikes
    and they ALL did it for considerably less money.
    sharper needs to take all the money he received from the vikes and ride off into the sunset while he has his health. end of story

  27. “hell green bay should try and resign him”
    Even with the steps he’s lost, he’d be Green Bay’s best safety. . .and, hell, probably their best overall defensive player. . .as soon as the pen hit the paper.
    Man, the Pack’s defense is awful. So is their coaching staff. So is most of their offense, now that I think about it. No wonder that team sucks now and will continue to suck.

  28. “Gawd, are all Packer fans extra-bitter this year, or is it just the ones who comment on this site?”
    Rest assured, it’s all of them. It’s the result of an off-season (and pre-season. . .and regular season) spent running off at the mouth and acting as though they were going to be division champs just by showing up 16 times. . .followed by a regular season full of nothing short of complete and utter disappointment and incompetence.
    After Week 11 this year, the Vikings, Bears, and Packers all sat with identical 5-5 records. Each team had already had their bye, the Vikings were coming off a tough road loss to the Buccaneers, and the Packers had just finished crushing the Bears 37-3.
    The fates of those three 5-5 teams?
    One of them finished 5-1 and won the NFC North.
    One of them finished 4-2 and was fighting for a playoff spot until the last minutes of their season.
    One of them finished 1-5. . .and that 1 came in their final game of the season.
    Yep. . .one NFC North team certainly collapsed in 2008. Don’t ask Packer fans to tell you which one it was, though. . .not unless you want to sit and listen to a couple dozen excuses for why they’re just not as good as the other two teams in the NFC North.

  29. Typical BIQUEEN fan response. We won the NFC North, we’re great.
    ya, let’s ignore the QB situation. While we are at it, let’s ignore the fact that everyone was calling for Chilly’s scalp (oh, he’s bald, sorry about that) all year long and now you are stuck with that mental midget for another year.
    Darren Sharper is actually in the bottom half of all the starting safeties in the NFL so we are sad to see MN can no longer afford the guy. The fact that MN paid top dollar for his limited talents is a sign that the BIQUEENs overpaid.
    Considering that Childress is 1-5 against the pack in his career, I don’t quite understand how the Viking fans ( and I use that term loosely considering your inablity to sell tickets) are all that excited about next year.

  30. WillboBaggins says: I think the Saints have the 5th or 6th most cap room in the league at $32 million.
    You need to look at 2009 cap. I think it’s closer to 4.5M under cap and they still need to resign Vilma and any rookies and FA pickups.

  31. to the guy who is talking trash about MM: the guy gave up maybe 1 TD this season in coverage (played about 13 games) and last year was a pro bowl alternate.
    he’s doing pretty well.

  32. As a Packer fan I’ll miss Big Mouth Darren. We’ll probably have to beat 11 Queens now. I’m sure the Bears and Lions will miss him too.
    He should play for another 20 years for the Ain’t since he still hasn’t hit anyone.

  33. I dont know if you should be hating on old players no of days since what we have seen this year. Anyway he would be a upgrade from the pee wee players pretending to be NFL safties back there. Teaming him up with are new DC and Vilma would be fun to see…

  34. Sharper had some nice productive years in Minny. His problem is that the defense he came in to solidify four years ago is vastly improved four years later. Being that his game has diminished the last year and a half or so his services are not up to par with the level of talent around him. I can’t even remember the safeties on board four years back. ( Waswa Serwanga?) They were terrible so Sharper wins by default. The current defense in place in Minny has the building blocks to dominate for many years. Sharpers usefulness is now in question given the options available. It’s been said that he is a self interested player concerned with padding his own stats. I fell victim to that line of thinking myself. That is until he was lost due to injury in the Philly playoff game. Don’t know the specifics of the x’s and o’s that were compromised because of his absence but to be sure it was obvious. Secondary,play calling and defense as a whole was greatly affected. That being said it’s clear to me that he brings a vital element to the table that should not be casually dismissed. I wish him well wherever that may by. To join a team that is rebuilding a defense and in need of heady experienced players will bode well for Darren at this point in his career. He may again gain stud type status whithin another organization based on the level of talent (or lack of) surrounding him. This is no longer a Tamp Two issue. It’s a He is a very solid football player and has been his entire career but HOF induction seems a stretch. Consideration? Maybe.
    Yes packer poster on this site seem to be embittered and butt sore for reasons too varied and exhausting to list.
    I have purple Viking socks…and I’m wearing them

  35. “Typical BIQUEEN fan response. We won the NFC North, we’re great.”
    We’re not saying the Vikings are great. We’re saying that the Vikings are sure as hell better than the Green Bay Packers. (Because they are, what with the Packers being one of the worst teams in the league and all.)
    “Considering that Childress is 1-5 against the pack in his career, I don’t quite understand how the Viking fans ( and I use that term loosely considering your inablity to sell tickets) are all that excited about next year.”
    His team won the last time the Vikings and Packers got together.
    Considering that the Packers’ defensive front seven is one of the biggest jokes in the league, that they don’t have a running back that would crack the Minnesota practice squad, that their offensive line is pathetic, that they’re coached by a total idiot, and that they’re run by a guy that’s a complete moron and a perpetual liar, I think the Pack would be well served to just forfeit their 2009 season and start looking to 2010. Not that they’ll have any talent then, either. . .I’m sure they won’t. . .but much embarrassment would be saved for the most overrated fans in sports.
    They’ll still be an embarrassment to themselves, mind you. . .if you need any proof of that, just take a look at the Packer fans that post here.

  36. THEGONZ-
    i see your up to your typical retard ramblings, as usual. shaper would be the best safety on the packers? i guess nick collins making the probowl doesn’t count for anything? hmmm…how many INTs did darren have this year? 1? yeah, he USED to be good, but he isn’t he had his good days but he just didn’t show anything this year. thats why the vikes will roll with a rookie and a guy who played in like 3 games for them this year as their starters next year.
    and as far as the way this year wound up, congrats you wonthe division. way to go. you won a division title. i hope that makes you feel good. i won’t menton that you were a one-and-done, or that your favorite team can’t sell out home games without help from local TV stations 3 times a year, or that you can’t sellout a home playoff game without 2 extensions, or that the vikes are on the top of the list of teams to be moved to LA….
    i won’t mention any of that, but congrats THEGONZ, you can look at that awesome division title bannner hangin in the rafters next year. it will be hanging all alone, by itself, above thousands of empty seats.

  37. dick should be in the HOF
    they are punishing him for the players he played with in the secondary. its unfair. not to mention the impact hes had on the game as a DC.

  38. “i guess nick collins making the probowl doesn’t count for anything?”
    According to Packer fans, Sharper making the Pro Bowl two or three times as a Viking didn’t count for anything, so why should a flash in the pan like Nick Collins get any credit?
    “and as far as the way this year wound up, congrats you wonthe division. way to go. you won a division title. i hope that makes you feel good.”
    It’s amazing how much less division titles mean when the Packers aren’t winning them, isn’t it?
    “i won’t menton that you were a one-and-done”
    You shouldn’t mention that we were a one-and-done, particularly when your team was a none-and-none. Because your team sucks.
    And, hey, at least the Vikings lost as an underdog. . .it’s not like Green Bay where they’re turning the home playoff loss as a heavy favorite into an art form (Atlanta, 2003; Minnesota, 2005; New York, 2008).
    But, I guess if taking shots at a division champ does something to help you forget that your team sucks and is one of the worst in the league. . .and will be for some time to come. . .then shine on, you crazy diamond.

  39. Great posts Gonz. Sharper played well for the VIkes, seems like a nnice guy, but is going down hill. However, Johnson sure was out of position a lot in that playoff game. Johnson hits hard, but still has plenty to learn. And has anyone watched Sharper on the Sundat night local TV broadcasts? Geez, the guy wants to broadcast when his playing days are over, but he pretty much sucks. Hope he’s saved his money.

  40. “it’s not like Green Bay where they’re turning the home playoff loss as a heavy favorite into an art form (Atlanta, 2003; Minnesota, 2005; New York, 2008).”
    heavy favorite? i believe GB was favored by 3 for being at home.
    sure sharper made a few probowls with the vikes. great. but he sure didn’t lend much help to stopping teams from scoring, or even scoring himself. nick collins was at/near top of the league for int’s and int returnedfor TD. i would take collins over sharper anyday of the week.
    and as far as a division title meaning less when it’s not in green bay. that isn’t completely true. it’s a little different when you are constantly winning them as the bears and packers do. the vikes FINALLY won ONE. and THEGONZ, if u have any sense of logic or reality you would see just how slim the margin is by which you won that division title. i would call it about 2 and a half feet. so once again, congrats get your polaroid ready, and your best purple sweater. getout your helga hair, and your high life because with all the empty seats in the dome you will be able to get close enough to the banner to take a great picture with it. the pack may have faltered this year, but i can garauntee you that you will be biting your nails wetting your little purple pants next year when our two favorite teams meet up again.

  41. “You shouldn’t mention that we were a one-and-done, particularly when your team was a none-and-none. Because your team sucks.”
    lmao, what ground-breaking insight and outstanding logic you posess. maybe you and darren could have your own late night sports info broadcast. while he reads the cue cards as, if, there, is, a, comma, after every word, you could then jump in with this sort of intense retoric that most asuredly would grab viewers attention. “YEAH, thats right darren! and that team SUCKS!”
    you may want to look into that…just a thought.

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