The New Orleans Saints have some big decisions to make about their 29 free agents after the NFL lockout ends. Free safety Darren Sharper and strong safety Roman Harper are among them, but both prefer to remain Saints.
"You can want a lot of things, but everything has to come together," Sharper told The Times-Picayune on Wednesday. "I would like to come back. But I'd also like to play somewhere that I'm going to be happy. I know I'll be happy in New Orleans, but you never know. It could be another situation, another opportunity that makes me happier, and you have to weigh those decisions."
Harper, a sixth-year NFL veteran, said he'll consider all options.
"I'm confident that I'll get a deal done," he said. "I can't say where, with who or anything like that. I have no control over all that. It's not in my power. I'm just ready to go play some football at the end of the day."
Sharper, who's heading for his 15th season, appears to realize his place among Saints free agents, who also include wide receiver Lance Moore, offensive tackle Jermon Bushrod and linebacker Scott Shanle.
"I know we have a lot of free agents, and a lot of people are ahead of me on the priority list," Sharper said. "With the (salary) cap, wherever they're going to set it at, it's up to the management to work things out and see where they are with that."
Sharper's durability is a question mark after he missed half of last season because of offseason knee surgery. Malcolm Jenkins replaced Sharper at free safety and thrived.
Sharper is convinced he still can play every down and that someone will offer him a starting role.
"The backup role is something that I'll have to decide on," he said. "How I feel now from working out, I feel great. And like I said before, it's tough if you're 100 percent and sitting on the sidelines. But when you're not, you can accept that role. Me feeling like I'm 100 percent, it's going to be tough, and that's a decision I'm going to have to make."