Chicago Sun-Times

Report: Saints will franchise Sharper

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After much speculation, NFL.com's Steve Wyche is reporting that the Saints will indeed slap the franchise tag on safety Darren Sharper.

It's not known whether the Bears would've pursued Sharper when free agency opens next month, or even who would have been the point man now that senior director of player personnel Bobby DePaul has been fired. The Bears had a chance to court Sharper before last season but decided not to. Of course, he went on to become a key member of the Super Bowl champions.

Regardless of whether the Bears believe Sharper is a good fit, they could sure use a safety that can make as many big plays as Sharper typically makes.

If the Saints do apply the franchise tag to Sharper he will be tendered a one-year contract worth a guaranteed $6.445 million, making him one of the highest paid safeties in the game.

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14 Comments

We blew that one! DePaul's fault?

Free safety is definitely a need area heading into free agency. The problem is, most of the decent free agent free safeties are restricted free agents, and Chicago already doesn't have many draft picks to give up as it is. One example is the Colts Antoine Bethea, he'd look good in a Bears uniform, and the Bears could use his abilities to play the pass. I can't see the Colts letting him go cheap. Another good one is Cleveland's Brodney Pool, Pool has great size at 6-2 205lbs, and is also great defending the pass. The one knock on Pool is the fact he has suffered four concussions during his career, one more and he might be done. He might not be a good one to go after for that reason alone.

The one I like is Buffalo's George Wilson. Wilson is usually a reserve but because of injuries to Buffalo's starters got 12 starts this past season, and Buffalo's defense didn't miss a beat with him in the lineup. Wilson is a smart player and good communicator, which is key for a free safety in Chicago's scheme. And Buffalo's scheme on defense is very similar to what Chicago runs, basically another version of the Tony Dungy scheme like in Chicago. That fact alone means Wilson would be a quick study in the windy city. The fact Wilson won't see the field with Jairus Byrd and Donte' Whitner in front of him might make Chicago an attractive destination for him to come to along with the similarity in scheme's. Wilson also has nice size at 6-0 212lbs, and has only been in the league since 2004. He's a player Angelo should be looking into.

The Bears are already sat at strong safety with 2nd year player Al Afalava and Kevin Payne. If Chicago brings in a pure free safety, I say let these two battle it out for the strong safety job. I still like Kevin Payne for the strong safety position, Payne had 60 tackles this past season to go along with 5 pass breakups, and he wasn't even in the starting lineup that much, just an opinion now GO BEARS!!

I think that with the abundance at the LB position, and considering his recent injury history, I think the Bears should consider moving Brian Urlacher to the FS position. I think his skill set would allow him to excel at free safety; and, not only that, the reduced wear and tear may allow him to play at an elite level for another 4 to 6 seasons, as he's 31 now. Think about it, a big free safety with ball skills and the mentality of a linebacker. plus, he played it in college at New Mexico. not to mention that the switch would put the bears into a defacto hybrid 4-4 defensive alignment. Holy $hit! with his speed, range and 6'4" size, I could see it becoming a match-up nightmare for opposing offenses... to heck with all the free agent talk, and we should go OL in the draft, where there will be some value when we pick in the third round.

Thank you Captain Obvious, er, Kevin Armstead.

Kevin if the Bears were set at Strong Safety Payne, Afaalave, and Steltz wouldn't be competing for the job. Wilson did a nice job for the Bills, but how do you think they are going to get him. You point out they have no picks to use. Maybe they will send a nice fruit basket to the Bills?

By the way take guess why Payne wasn't in the starting lineup a lot. The Bears safeties are brutal across the board, their is a reason they play deeper than any other group in the nfl. The Bears can't be aggressive with their Safeties because they don't have the talent. Stop looking at tackles in the secondary, tackling a guy who just gained 25 yards isn't helping.

By the way Payne had 46 tackles and 5 pass defended. You really excited about this guy and you don't even know his numbers. He started 5 games was benched twice and played in 13 games. Yo uget excited about the easiest things.

Laugh all you wantr Creighton. You will eat your words when Payne gets in to Canton along with Steltz. MArk my words.

LMAO at the idea of Urlacher to Free Safety. You must be kidding?

One move that has never happened, but makes sense to me is Tillman at Free Safety. Why not try it? Bowman is an OK (not great) corner. I don't really know if it would work, but why not try it?

Of course, no secondary moves matter if the line is still weak. They must sign some guys. There are some available right now. Peppers, Kampman, and Vanden Bosch to name a few. Old, but who else is there? Plus Wilfork might be available if the Pats don't franchise him. There doesn't appear to be an answer on the team at this point. Harris is NOT going to return to the 05-06 version. Just ain't gonna happen. Brown is still good, but not great. Harrison has been what he is... a 3rd round pick. I doubt Helton or Gilbert are that great if they basically red shirted their first year.

The Bears must be bold like the trade for Cutler. Go for it! Sign some D-lineman darn it.

This is an absolutely futile post. Everyone knows already Sharper hates the cover-2, and does his best work as a "free-lance" rover type of safety. Not exactly a good fit in Lovie's scheme, nor the Vikes defense two years ago. Why wouldn't the Saints franchise him? It makes way too much sense in an uncapped year.

We wouldn't need a free safety if we stopped playing the cover-none defense. But that won't happen as long as the bozo called lovie is still running the show. Can't wait for January 2011. The end is near.

New at this,but from what Angelo has said,the team is in place,and with the collective barganing at issue at the end of next season,and the Bears throwing nickles around like sewer covers,we more then likily will see the same team we saw this last season,for the season coming up.But we have new coaches on both sides of the ball.

Oh, I get it, Creighton, Crapton, and wanna be Mike are all the same guy....I think? Oh well GO BEARS!!

Crap-...oh I mean Creighton, whats your problem with me? I don't get it? All I do is come on here and give my opinion on the Bears and of what Jensen or Hayes writes about them, and you relentlessly come behind all my post and give your 2-cents about what I write...why? Why me? I never go behind any of your post because I could care less about what you think, seriously. Dude, make a friend, rent a DVD, I don't know, instead of staying up until 12:00 a.m. in the morning writing a Kevin Bumstead post because what I write upsets you so much, shut your computer off and go out and meet some women, basically get a life. You cry about Brando, but your just as bad if not worse, at least Brando doesn't spend all his free time going behind you like you do me, seriously, get out and meet some women, or make a friend thats not on a screen. Oh well, GO BEARS!!

Kevin and Creighton... personally, I like a little banter, as long as youse guys don't attack each other and stuff... there's just no use for it being mean and everything. hell, I usually like the comments more than the article, and it's a good forum to listen to what other fans are thinking on any particular subject, plus, I think it's pretty cool the Sun-Times let's us post here... --and I look forward to you two's feedback as much as anybody's.

last time I checked, there wasn't anyone named doctor chip, Creighton or Kevin Armstead running any NFL teams, so, it's all just opinion on this forum anyways, right?

Ryan, no, not joking at all, yes, serious as a heart attack, I think the Bears should take a look at Urlacher at Free Safety. reasons stated above are all valid... hey, maybe it wouldn't work, but it's worth a look, anyhow. I also like the idea of moving Peanut to safety, but that may put us in a pinch at Corner.

'nuff said. rock on! be cool, y'all!

B-D

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People, stop posting your fantasy depth charts. Afalava is set for next year, Steltz will be cut or play only ST and Payne is a backup at best. Urlacher or Tillman at FS is just plain stupid.

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on February 16, 2010 10:39 AM.

Agent: Vanden Bosch not retiring was the previous entry in this blog.

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