The Dolphins may have found their future free safety in fifth-rounder Reshad Jones, but it wouldn’t hurt to sharpen up their defense in the mean-time with a crafty veteran like Darren Sharper.
It’s a difficult request considering how much money we already paid for Brandon Marshall, and also taking into account that we were already among tops in the league for roster salary before that trade. Sharper wouldn’t be cheap, but if we could get him at for a reasonable two-year contract, the Tuna should absolutely go for it.
Sharper is a ball hawk, plain and simple. The 13-year vet racked up nine interceptions last season with the New Orleans Saints, including three of them for touchdowns. For a defense that was -8 in turnover margin (26th in the NFL), there’s no doubt Sharper would make an immediate impact.
Here’s some more credentials for the five-time Pro Bowl free safety:
1. He broke an NFL single season record of 358 interception-return yards last season, a record previously held by future hall-of-famer Ed Reed.
2. Sharper also shares an NFL record with Deion Sanders for most games with 50+ interception return yards (9) and owns the NFL record for most games with 75+ interception return yards (6).
3. In his 13-year-career, Sharper has accumulated 63 interceptions, nine forced fumbles, and 13 defensive touchdowns.
Talk about big league clout. Plus, you have to consider all the intangibles–all the turnovers he’ll create just by making plays on the ball. And with hard-hitting Yeremiah Bell on the other side, it would be a duo reminiscent to 2001’s Brock Marion and Brian Walker.
And it’s no question that the Dolphin defense could use a Sharper Image. Last season Miami ranked 24th in the league in pass defense, 25th in points-allowed and an embarrassing 29th in giving up plays over 20-yards. Generally speaking, if that many yards are leaking through a 3-4 defense, there’s bound to be a hole somewhere.
The Dolphins already eliminated the hole in center field by cutting Gibril Wilson, filled in the nose tackle position by announcing Randy Starks as the starter, and I expect the much-improved rookie corners, Vontae Davis and Sean Smith, to mature even more this season.
But we still need a reliable anchor, a play-making safety that could bring it all together. A crafty veteran who always knows where the ball’s at. I’m talking legitimate Super Bowl contenders. And that is why, ladies and gentleman, the Miami Dolphins should go after Darren Sharper.