I was actually surprised that Darren Sharper was available last year and we didn't go after him. I know that he is looking for a big payday to close out his career, but his age seems to be the reasons why Miami isn't going after him.
Bleacher Report wrote:
While with the New Orleans Saints last season, Sharper revitalized his career with 71 tackles, 15 passes defended, nine interceptions, and three defensive touchdowns. He went to the Pro Bowl and served as the anchor of the Saints defense.Bleacher Report
Without him, its arguable New Orleans wouldn't have made their unlikely Super Bowl run. That's how much of a difference he makes.
So why isn't Miami going after him?
At 34-years-old he can't be the long-term answer at safety, but there's no denying he still has life in those legs. There aren't many guys who bring his level of tackling, ball hawking, and straight-up play-making to the table.
New Orleans appears to be his first choice for next season, but that doesn't mean his mind can't be changed for the right price. With 2010 being an uncapped year, the time is right to spend a little extra for players of his caliber.
If the Dolphins don't address this need in free agency, that means either second-year safety Chris Clemons or a rookie draft pick will likely start at free safety next season. That may turn out to be a good thing, but it's a gamble nonetheless.
If that doesn't work out, the secondary will be exposed all season just like it was a year ago.
Bringing in Sharper quells those concerns, at least for a little while. He would instantly provide a major upgrade to the unit, not to mention provide some seriously needed veteran experience.
With Sharper on board, Miami would have the luxury of bringing a draft pick along slowly rather than throwing them to the wolves on day one. That kind of pressure can crush a player; just look at Jason Allen.
The move makes sense anyway you look at it. A two or three-year deal at a reasonable cost would probably get it done.
If Miami lets themselves head into the draft with this issue, they'll be walking a dangerous line. If that draft pick doesn't produce right away, the team will have a season-long headache at the position.
On the other hand, Sharper would provide season-long relief. At the very least, the Dolphins need to explore this possibility or possibly come to regret it.