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  1. #1
    mnjamie's Avatar
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    Darren Sharper out of Minny?

    Sharper feels his future as Viking clouded by final game

    By Judd Zulgad, Star Tribune

    Vikings safety Darren Sharper questioned his future with the franchise Sunday after being benched for the first time in his 10-year NFL career during the Vikings' 41-21 loss to St. Louis in their regular-season finale.

    Sharper, in his second season with the Vikings, was lifted in the fourth quarter in favor of rookie Greg Blue after the Rams' Steven Jackson raced 59 yards for a touchdown that gave St. Louis a 41-7 lead. Sharper said he was surprised by the move and no explanation was given. "It doesn't matter, I'll find out soon enough," he said.

    Although the Jackson touchdown run might have looked like the reason Sharper was pulled, Blue had been told at the beginning of the fourth quarter that he would be taking over at strong safety. Plus, Sharper was playing in the deep middle when Jackson broke free, meaning there were plenty of other Vikings who could have made the tackle.

    "When you're the last guy back there, you have nine, 10 guys in front of you so it shouldn't really get back to you," Sharper said. "That's what I've always been told."

    Blue, a fifth-round pick by the Vikings last April, could be a candidate to replace Sharper, 31, as the Vikings' starter at strong safety in 2007. Blue started two games this season and played the entire season opener at Washington in place of Dwight Smith, who was inactive for disciplinary reasons.

    Sharper signed a four-year contract with the Vikings in 2005 and is scheduled to make a base salary of $2.9 million next season and $3.9 million in 2008. Asked if he expects to return, Sharper said: "I don't know. I'd like to, but that's never up to me to make that decision. I'm under contract, so I guess I'd say I am coming back. Until I'm told differently. We'll see."

    He later added, "Whenever you don't finish a game out and you want to be out there playing, you always raise questions about [the future]."

    Sharper, who spent his first eight seasons in Green Bay before joining the Vikings as a free agent, tied his career high with nine interceptions last season and made the Pro Bowl for the third time in his career. But playing in defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin's new defense this season, Sharper's interception total fell to four. A free safety for much of his career, he was considered the strong safety in the Vikings defense.

    "I feel it's a good scheme, and I can play in any scheme," Sharper said when asked if Tomlin's defense fit his skills. "It just takes a while to adjust. ... I've been in systems where I've been put in positions to make plays. When you've been doing something for so long, having a chance to be free, having a chance to pretty much do what you want to, freelance, just go after the football, it just takes a little time. I definitely learned a lot this year as far as the scheme. I can be successful in any scheme."

    Sharper's frustration Sunday was exacerbated by the fact that the Vikings' 6-10 finish marks his first time on a team that finished with a losing record since being a second-round choice by Green Bay in 1997.

    "Ten years and I've never had a losing record, and that's something," he said. "That's kind of hard this year to deal with that, end of season, seeing 6-10. That's terrible. I've never experienced that and don't want to experience it again."

    http://www.startribune.com/510/story/908435.html



    POSTED 12:30 a.m. EST; UPDATED 12:43 a.m. EST, January 1, 2007

    SHARPER OUT IN MINNY?

    Vikings safety Darren Sharper, who was signed after being jettisoned by the Packers two seasons ago, could now be on his way out of Minnesota.

    Sharper was benched in the fourth quarter of the Vikings' loss to the Rams after St. Louis running back Steven Jackson broke free for a touchdown run that pushed the score to 41-7.

    Regarding whether he'll be back, Sharper said:
    "I don't know. I'd like to, but that's never up to me to make that decision.
    I'm under contract, so I guess I'd say I am coming back.
    Until I'm told differently. We'll see. . . .
    Whenever you don't finish a game out and you want to be out there playing, you always raise questions about [the future]."

    The Vikings' 6-10 record, featuring a pathetic 2-8 finish after a 4-2 start, gave Sharper the first losing record of his entire career.

    "Ten years and I've never had a losing record, and that's something," he said.
    "That's kind of hard this year to deal with that, end of season, seeing 6-10.
    That's terrible.
    I've never experienced that and don't want to experience it again."


    http://www.profootballtalk.com/rumormill.htm



    Yup, sounds like a vote of confidence for Chilli to me .... (sarcasm off)

  2. #2
    Moss Apologist is offline Waterboy
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    Re: Darren Sharper out of Minny?

    Ooh.
    Not good.
    We need Darren Sharper.
    I like our secondary.
    I think we're set there.
    That might sound strange given our ranking, but I think the players that we have our good.
    All four of them (Griffin rather than Smoot of course) impressed me on varying levels.
    If there was a better pass rush, they'd be formiddable.
    Take out Sharper and then you have problems again.


  3. #3
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    Re: Darren Sharper out of Minny?

    omg i would cry!! i love d-sharp and i just bought his jersey. im not taking this too seriously yet because its just in the rumor mill in PFT. i know he hasnt been shy with the media about his dissapointment this year but geesh, makes you wonder whats going on in chilli's head.
    "God has blessed me tremendously. I'd be a fool to complain."
    "From what I understand, the coaches will put the best 11 on the field."
    -Tyrell Johnson

  4. #4
    PurplePeopleEaters's Avatar
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    Re: Darren Sharper out of Minny?

    He'll be back. I have no idea why he wouldn't be.. he's under contract..

  5. #5
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    Re: Darren Sharper out of Minny?

    IS PFT very reliable though?
    BANNED OR DEAD...I'LL TAKE EITHER ONE

  6. #6
    mnjamie's Avatar
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    Re: Darren Sharper out of Minny?

    "cajunvike" wrote:
    IS PFT very reliable though?

    They are very reliable in my book.

  7. #7
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    Re: Darren Sharper out of Minny?

    Pic of the TD mentioned:



    [img width=400 height=318]http://espn-i.starwave.com/media/apphoto/MNJM10712312228.jpg[/img]


    Minnesota Vikings' Darren Sharper (42) gives chase as St. Louis Rams' Steven Jackson, right, runs for a 59-yard touchdown in fourth quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 31, 2006, in Minneapolis.

  8. #8
    mnjamie's Avatar
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    Re: Darren Sharper out of Minny?

    "PurplePeopleEaters" wrote:
    He'll be back. I have no idea why he wouldn't be.. he's under contract..

    Wasn't MRob still under contract?

  9. #9
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    Re: Darren Sharper out of Minny?

    "mnjamie" wrote:
    Pic of the TD mentioned:



    [img width=400 height=318]http://espn-i.starwave.com/media/apphoto/MNJM10712312228.jpg[/img]


    Minnesota Vikings' Darren Sharper (42) gives chase as St. Louis Rams' Steven Jackson, right, runs for a 59-yard touchdown in fourth quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 31, 2006, in Minneapolis.
    1) looks like he tripped over the guy (cant tell who it is)
    2)if shaper was benched, why wasnt the guy who was eating turf on this play that tripped sharper

    its not like sharper was the only one to make mistakes today. there were TONS of mistakes made by alot of people. i wonder if there is something else behind this benching.
    "God has blessed me tremendously. I'd be a fool to complain."
    "From what I understand, the coaches will put the best 11 on the field."
    -Tyrell Johnson

  10. #10
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    Re: Darren Sharper out of Minny?

    While this is all just complete speculation at this point, I can't say I'm surprised that this rumor is out there. He's been pretty outspoken at certain moments throughout the season (and I know some think that alone can get a guy cut around these parts). It would be a major shame to see him go as a player though, but with a lackluster season within the current defensive scheme under his belt, it's not far from reality IMO. But, since he's a proven player and under contract for two more years, a flat out release is doubtful. Trade possible? I guess anything is.
    Even babies know the difference.

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