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.