Darren Sharper reiterating his desire to continue playing

Darren Sharper remains consistent with what he’s said all along.

The veteran safety would like to return to the New Orleans Saints for a third season.

If he doesn’t have a home in Gregg Williams’ defense, he wants to play somewhere for a 15th season in the NFL. That’s what the safety with 63 career interceptions told James Varney of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. He’s tied for sixth all-time and has nine more than the next closest active player, Baltimore’s Ed Reed.

If Sharper could get three more interceptions, he’d move into fifth place on the all-time list and that would no doubt help buttress Hall of Fame candidacy. But it’s not about that for the five-time Pro Bowl performer right now.

He’s been plagued by knee issues and underwent microfracture surgery a year ago. His durability will be an issue for the Saints -- or any other franchise.

"I don't want to hobble out of the game," Sharper said.

But he does want to keep going and he believes that an extended work stoppage could help him. Younger players will not have the time to get up to speed with defenses, and that could make a veteran who can learn a system quickly more valuable. Only time will tell. Problem is at 35, Sharper doesn’t have much of it on his side.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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