"Hopefully things work out (with the Saints)..."
"...It's tough because the fan base is great, and we had something special and we have a chance to repeat. It would be bad if I wasn't able to return. We'll see if they make me an offer that is competitive."
Definitely what fans want to hear from one of the key players on this championship defense (did I just type that?).
The bad news is that he also expressed his dissatisfaction with the New Orleans Saints front office for not having offered him a contract yet and for not using the franchise tag on him.
"They said they want me back, but if you want someone back, why are you going to let them test the market?," Sharper said in a telephone interview Tuesday. "I don't know how much they want me back if they're allowing other teams to bid for my services. Being in this situation before, if a team is willing to let you test the market, they're willing to let you go."
Ummm...correct me if I'm wrong but I believe the veteran free agency period doesn't start until March 5th. And if my math is accurate that means the Saints technically have eight more days to offer him a contract before hitting the market. So, unless the Saints expressly told Sharper they weren't making an offer and he knows something we don't, I don't understand where all this doomsday rhetoric is coming from?
C'mon man, cut the team some slack; they're new to this whole winning the Super Bowl thing. Usually Saints officials have more time - like the entire month of January - to deal with off-season issues such as these. The organization and the city are just now coming down from the intoxication of victory followed directly by the inebriation of Mardi Gras debauchery. Unfortunately, that makes for one wicked hangover...
General Manager Mickey Loomis admitted the New Orleans Saints are "a bit behind" their normal schedule when it comes to free agency and the draft.
Loomis followed that up by saying, "We really wasted a lot of valuable man hours trying to find where Payton was hiding the Lombardi Trophy," and adding, "He wouldn't give the damn thing up." I kid, I kid.
Have no fear though, because Loomis and co. are back on track...
"And I think we're capable of catching up...
...We're severely limited in free agency, so the fact that we're behind a little bit isn't as tough on us,"
Besides, let's keep in mind this is the front office that just won a freaking Super Bowl. Who are we to criticize anything they do right now? They've earned that for at least a little while more. Only question remaining is how long the honeymoon lasts. But don't think they're gonna let it all go to their head and get jaded either...
"We need to have a critical eye when we evaluate and not be blinded by the euphoria that goes along with winning a championship," Loomis said. "I think one thing we have to be careful about is when you have a successful season, sometimes you don't use a critical eye. You still have to be honest with yourself. You have to stay true to your philosophies and pay attention and be self-critical. We need to do that and pay attention to weaknesses we have and holes we have on our team...
...We're going to pay attention to salary structure just like we always have."
No wonder Sharper's worried; even he's not a sure thing for a contract.
I think he could still show a little more patience with the Saints organization. There is time before free agency begins so his comments are a bit premature. New Orleans is a city that likes to take its time, whether it's cooking gumbo or winning Super Bowls. Surely D-Sharp can wait one more week.
Of course, I hope he gets what he wants and the Saints lock him up with a multi-year deal. If they do let him hit the free agency market however, Loomis better have a good reason. Otherwise, the honeymoon's over.