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