- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 18, 2009

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The New Orleans Saints have agreed to terms on a contract with veteran free-agent safety Darren Sharper.

The 33-year-old Sharper has been selected four times to Pro Bowls during his 12-year career. He spent his first eight seasons in Green Bay and the past four in Minnesota, racking up 54 career interceptions, more than any active player.

“Darren is an accomplished veteran player that brings a wealth of knowledge and ability to our secondary and has always possessed outstanding instincts and playmaking skills,” Saints general manager Mickey Loomis said.

Terms of Sharper’s contract were not released.

The Saints also announced that they have signed veteran free-agent tight end Darnell Dinkins to a one-year contract.

Dinkins has spent his eight-year career with the New York Giants, Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns, with 25 career receptions for 228 yards and three touchdowns. He also has experience on special teams.

Sharper started all 16 regular-season games for the Vikings in 2008 as well as their playoff game. He finished with 79 tackles, an interception, five passes defended and two fumble recoveries.

The Saints needed another safety after allowing Josh Bullocks to leave in free agency. Bullocks signed with Chicago.

The Saints were looking for a defender who can make big plays. Sharper has returned eight interceptions for touchdowns during his career, and has scored twice on fumble recoveries.

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