I remeber when we first signed him this offseason, alot of fans including myself didn't really like the idea or the money we payed for him, but man isn't it worth it. There's no doubt that if he stays healthy he will be in the pro bowl. I jumped the gun when we signed him but there where a couple things i should have factored in, really he is only 29 years old (which isn't bad for a safety) and he played hurt last year, some people dont understand how much an injury can effect a player.
Here is a good article on him! He's gonna be a beast for us!
Vikings: In Sharper's case, seeing is believing
Judd Zulgad, Star Tribune
September 14, 2005
Darren Sharper, ever the showman, embraced the spotlight as the Fox television cameras focused on him Sunday during pregame warmups at the Metrodome.
"I know one thing," Sharper said, looking down at the camera. "Anyone who said I wouldn't look good in purple, look at me now. Look at me now."
It's hard to believe even Sharper could have realized just how good he would look in his first regular-season game wearing a purple jersey after eight seasons in Packers green and gold.
"Ewwwww, he had a heck of a game," defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell said, smiling.
That might have been an understatement. In a day filled with frustration for the Vikings offense, Sharper was the star of what appears to be a much improved defense.
Sharper picked off a Brian Griese pass intended for Joey Galloway and returned it 88 yards for a first-quarter touchdown.
It was the Vikings' longest interception return for a score in 14 years and the team's only touchdown in a 24-13 loss to Tampa Bay.
But the free safety's effectiveness went beyond one play. He had eight tackles -- ranking second on the team -- broke up two passes and contributed a special-teams tackle.
"He made plays all over the field," said Vikings coach Mike Tice. "He probably could have had another two picks, we're happy with the one he did have. He was in three-deep coverage right there and jumped the route. We haven't seen that in a while."
A long, long while. And that's exactly why the team made Sharper part of its defensive makeover. One of five new starters acquired either via free agency or trade, the 29-year-old was signed after refusing to accept a $4 million pay cut from the Packers.
The Vikings were willing to gamble that Sharper still had ability that had been masked by a knee injury suffered last October. Sharper missed only one game after suffering a partially torn posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee against Dallas, but his effectiveness was severely limited.
"Last year I would go out there and I couldn't bend sometimes," Sharper said. "I'd be stretching, and it would be hard for me to stand up, do a squat. That's how bad my leg felt, how weak it was. ... Now, I don't even think about it. Actually, it's feeling better than my other leg now. That's the weird part about it."
Sunday's touchdown gave Sharper eight since he entered the NFL in 1997, most by any defensive player in the league over that span.
"It definitely felt good," said Sharper, who has returned his past three interceptions for touchdowns. "You always want to make a good impression in your first game, especially in a new uniform, a new town. Fans here have seen me make plays like that before but it's usually against them. It's good to let them know, and let my teammates know, that I'm here to really contribute by bringing that big-play ability and also being a leader for this defense."
Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield wasn't surprised, saying: "He has been doing that every practice. We know what type of player he is. He is going to definitely help us out this year."
If he stays healthy, Sharper also might prove he is far from the washed-up player some suspected when the Packers severed ties.
"You definitely hear those things," he said. "Any team, especially when you come to a contract situation, it's all a negotiating or bargaining tool for them to use. The business side of things, they always want to get you at a cheaper price than what you are really worth.
"You hear those talks about people saying, 'Well, OK, he's 29 and he's this and that. Even though he played hurt last year, we still think that he might have slowed down a little bit.' You do use those things as motivation. But I never looked at it as if I had to really prove anything because I knew that if I was healthy, I'm one of the best players at my position in the league."
Judd Zulgad is at [email protected]