As of last week, Saints coach Sean Payton wasn’t close to making a decision on the immediate future of Darren Sharper. That hasn’t changed, and with Saturday’s deadline to cut rosters to 53 players fast approaching, the decision is looming.
We’ve heard nothing but generalities when it comes to Sharper’s progress, and on Tuesday Payton wouldn’t guarantee Sharper would even make the final cut.
Sharper, though, has a decidedly different tone. He’s standing by his goal is to be ready for the regular-season opener against the Vikings, according to the team’s official site.
“It’s disappointing not being out there and watching film with yourself not on the tape,” Sharper said. “But I feel good, and that isn’t me just saying that because (media) is asking me in front of cameras. I am happy with the healing process. Now it is just about getting in football shape.”
Jason La Canfora notes there are few salary ramifications to releasing Sharper, and after speaking with people inside the organization, he doesn’t expect the veteran safety to be active to start the season. The reserve/PUP list is an option if the Saints believe Sharper won’t be ready to contribute in the first six weeks of the season, and I hear whispers that one possibility is the Saints release him, with the agreement that he’ll return sometime after Week 1.
One way or the other, we’ll know more by the end of the week.