Would Darren Sharper Make Sense for Chicago Bears?

Bob Warja@@bobwarjaSenior Writer IMarch 1, 2010

We know that the Bears need a safety. Likewise, we all understand that one of the NFL 's best, Darren Sharper, is on the market after the New Orleans Saints decided not to franchise him.

Coincidentally, the Bears have said they are making the safety position their offseason priority.

So is this a no-brainer, or what? 

Surprisingly, the answer may well be "or what?". 

If the Bears were just one or two players away from the Super Bowl, it might make sense to go for it and put up the bucks it will require to sign Sharper.

But the Bears are not one, two, or even three players away. They need help in several areas. So, as good as Sharper is, it may make better sense to spread the money around and turn one Sharper signing into two or even three lower level free agent signings.

Look, it certainly has to be tempting to the Bears. In a cover-2 scheme you need strong safety play. This is especially true if you don't have a strong pass rush.

But the Bears have a new offensive coordinator in Mike Martz who favors the five and seven step drop. So we need O-line help. And, perhaps a wide receiver, though it doesn't appear that the Bears will be going in that direction.

Speaking of the pass rush, they need help in that area too. They were counting on Gaines Adams to give them some additional pressure, and then there is the question of whether Tommie Harris will be useful in providing an inside push.  

But just as a play for Sharper may not make sense, the same goes for Julius Peppers.

While not as old as Sharper, he will be quite expensive and knowing the Bears propensity not to spend huge dollars on free agents, would likely be the only signing during an offseason that requires lots of help.

As for Sharper, he is smart enough of a businessman to keep his options open.

"Anywhere is an option," Sharper said Monday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "Coach Lovie Smith, I have the utmost respect for him. I've played against him for many years and seen how he's built that program in Chicago. I'm a firm believer in what he's doing up there. I love the Chicago fans. Wherever I go I want to go to a great fan base, and Chicago has one of the best fan bases in all of the NFL."


Meanwhile, don't expect the Bears to move up in the draft. GM Jerry Angelo said he doesn't expect the team to trade up into the first two rounds of the NFL draft.

"It's very, very difficult to get teams to move out of those positions, so in all likelihood that's not going to happen," Angelo said of moving into the first round. "We really don't have enough to offer a team, and once teams kind of get fixed on filling their needs and on players, it's very tough for them move. I've been in their shoes, and I wouldn't do it."

Oh, but you would trade those picks for a QB, wouldn't you Mr.Angelo? Not that I blame him, as I was all for the trade at the time, but the end result is no picks in the first two rounds of this year's draft.

Their first pick will come at No. 76 and though Angelo's best picks have often come from later rounds, we can't count on the draft providing much in the way of immediate help.

Still, the draft and free agency can be used to effectively help the team today while building for the near future.

As for defensive ends who may be available when the Bears pick, here are some options:

Greg Hardy , Mississippi
George Selvie , South Florida
Jermaine Cunningham , Florida
Alex Carrington , Arkansas State
Lindsey Witten , Connecticut
Brandon Lang , Troy
Rahim Alem , LSU

As for the O-line, these guys may interest the Bears in the third round:

Ciron Black , LSU
Rodger Saffold , Indiana
Ed Wang, Virginia Tech
Kyle Calloway , Iowa
Selvish Capers , West Virginia
Drew Davis , Alabama

Defensive tackle, anyone?

Lamar Houston , Texas

Tyson Alualu, California

Mike Neal, Purdue

D'Anthony Smith, Louisiana Tech

Earl Mitchell, Arizona

Geno Atkins, Georgia

Arthur Jones, Syracuse 

Lamar Houston, Texas

Free safety?

Major Wright, Florida

Kam Chancellor, Virginia Tech

Morgan Burnett, Georgia Tech

Terrell Skinner, Maryland

Kendrick Lewis, Mississippi

Robert Johnson, Utah

Strong safety options may include:

Darrell Stuckey, Kansas

Larry Asante, Nebraska

Harry Coleman, LSU

Reshad Jones, Georgia 


With the Bears drafting so low, they will need to go play in the free agent sandbox. But they probably won't play with the big boys. It may be better to spread the wealth, come to think of it.


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