Darren Sharper Visits the New England Patriots: Should They Sign Him?

James DiMaioCorrespondent IAugust 15, 2011

Darren Sharper
Darren SharperChris Graythen/Getty Images

In considering Darren Sharper's brilliant career, which includes a Super Bowl championship and five Pro Bowl appearances, it seems that there aren't many teams in the NFL that wouldn't want Sharper on their team. 

Taking into account the Patriots' current lack of depth at the safety position and the fact that such a high-caliber safety could be signed on the cheap side due to his injury-plagued 2010 season; this seems like a first-rate signing for this ball club. 

Admittedly, it is hard to overlook the fact that Sharper is 35 years old, which is a bit old for the position, but the value he brings to the team in addition to his actual on-field play could make this signing worth while. 

Sharper's experience and knowledge of the game could elevate the play of young and promising talents, Patrick Chung and Brandon Meriweather.  Analogous to what the presence of veteran tight end Alge Crumpler did for the development of Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, practicing and studying with one of the most accomplished safeties in the NFL could serve these young safeties well in their future development. 

In 2010, this team was lacking playoff experienced veterans on defense, and this inexperience ultimately played a large role in the Patriots' season being cut short.  Why not add another guy who has done it all? 

Even as a rotational player, splitting playing time with Chung, Meriweather and Sanders (if healthy), Sharper could show up big in playoff games, which he has proven in the past he is capable of doing.

Sharper could be the last additional piece that puts this defense over the top and helps secure a fourth Super Bowl championship title for the New England Patriots.