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Sharper's Release Could Come Thursday

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The Green Bay Press-Gazette is reporting that Packers' FS Darren Sharper could be released soon, perhaps as early as tomorrow. Sharper is due a large roster bonus on Friday and has not been agreeable to accepting a pay cut.

Sharper would improve a depleted free safety pool. He might also interest Dallas, who is looking for a free safety to team with Roy Williams. If Sharper is released and Dallas is interested, they could face stiff competition from Atlanta. The Falcons are also in need of a free safety and Falcons' coordinator Ed Donatell coached Sharper in Green Bay.

Update: The Packers did indeed release Sharper Thursday and the safety wasted no time, scheduling a Friday meeting with the Vikings. Minnesota has spent big money on its secondary the past two years, signing CBs Antoine Winfield and Fred Smoot. The Vikings entered free agency with a whopping $33 million in cap room, more than any other team. If Minnesota feels like spending freely again Sharper is a lost cause.

Friday Update: The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that at least five teams have contacted Darren Sharper in the hours after he was cut by the Packers. While the Vikings and Falcons are certain, the identity of the other teams is unknown. Sharper appears to be in no hurry to sign a contract and will schedule several visits after tomorrow's trip to the Vikings. His agent claims Sharper has already received offers exceeding his final proposal from Green Bay.

Friday Update II: Two more teams linked to Sharper are the Cincinnati Bengals and the Miami Dolphins. Sharper's agent claims that Sharper, a Miami resident, would welcome playing at home.

Final update: The four year deal Sharper signed Friday with the Minnesota Vikings is for $16 million. There was never any official word that Dallas was interested in Sharper, but it is all but certain they would not want him at that price.