Can Sharper step up again like 2009 for the champion Saints?

Yes, Darren Sharper is back!

Sharper and the Saints agreed to a one year deal today which paves the way for the play making safety to return to the Black and Gold. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Sharper returns to the Saints after a record breaking season. His 9 INTs this season led the league and he set a league mark for most INT return yards in a season.

“We have said since the end of the season that we would love to have Darren back in a Saints uniform for 2010 and I’m glad we’ve been able to make that happen,” general manager Mickey Loomis said. “Darren was an integral part of our Super Bowl-winning team and we look forward to having him back.”

Sharper just finished his first free-agent visit to Jacksonville last week. While the talks seemed positive, no contract was offered to Sharper.

While many rejoice in New Orleans upon Sharper’s return, it will be interesting to find out what role Sharper will have on defense. Will he continue to be the ball hawk he was last season in Gregg William’s blitz-happy scheme? Will he give way playing time to an eventual successor, possibly Malcolm Jenkins?

Also, how healthy will Sharper be coming into the season and also throughout the season? Adam Schefter of ESPN reported today that Sharper had microfracture surgery during the offseason. While it is a fairly common procedure to athletes. It is the same surgery which Amare Stoudemire had and was forced to miss the greater part of one season after soreness and complications from the surgery. Others like Chris Webber and Penny Hardaway were not the same players they once were after the procedure.

One thing is for sure as far as Sharper is concerned. Pain or not, he will find a way to make plays.

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