Sharper: It's Thompson's fault

Tearing into the Packers braintrust, former Packers safety Darren Sharper says: "I don't feel sorry for them. You all know who makes decisions over there."

Nobody likes pity.

Packers fans especially won't like it when that pity comes from Darren Sharper.

The juxtaposition was too much for Sharper to resist. His Minnesota Vikings are taking on the Chicago Bears in a battle of 2-0 teams fighting for the early-season spot in the NFC North's penthouse. His former team, the Green Bay Packers, are taking on the Detroit Lions in a battle of 0-2 teams fighting to stay out of the NFC North's outhouse.

Asked by Minnesota reporters for his thoughts on his former team, Sharper said he felt sorry for his friends and former teammates laboring away in futility in Green Bay.

Not surprisingly, Sharper wasn't quite as warm and fuzzy toward the Packers' braintrust.

"To have them not reap any benefits from their work, that's hard to watch," Sharper said. "But as far as the people up top who make the decisions, I don't feel sorry for them. You all know who makes decisions over there."

That would be Ted Thompson, who decided the $6 million that would have been owed to Sharper was far too much for a safety he - and many NFL observers - believed was on the back side of a fine career. After all, Sharper had picked off four passes and broken up three in 2004, down from five and eight in 2003, seven and two in 2002, six and 11 in 2001 and nine and eight in 2000.

Sharper refused to take a pay cut to $2 million and was released. He signed with Minnesota and, with plenty to prove, wound up earning a trip to the Pro Bowl after intercepting nine passes and scoring two touchdowns.

Thompson's decision to not bring back Sharper - along with letting Mike Wahle depart in free agency and bidding adieu to Marco Rivera and his bad back - is a source of much angst to many Packers fans, who no doubt will read this and side with Sharper in pointing the finger of blame directly at Thompson's offseason decisions of 2005.

Sharper no doubt enjoys throwing gas on the blaze, considering the man who made him feel so unwanted has put together a 4-14 record heading into Sunday's game.

"You can say you're not rebuilding, but then all the moves you make, it looks like you are rebuilding," Sharper said. "You're telling all the guys that are still there, like Brett (Favre) and the older guys like (Ahman Green) that you are not rebuilding, and you have them going through this struggle with a lot of young guys who aren't experienced."

Sharper felt particularly sorry for Favre, whose legacy is taking a hit by playing for a team that appears hopelessly overmatched against even average teams.

"I have friends over there playing, and I don't like to see them struggling like this, and it really bothers me to see Brett struggling at the end of a legendary career," Sharper said. "But it's one of those things, if you dig your grave, and the decisions you make, you're going to have to deal with the consequences."

Lawrence is a regular contributor to Send comments to

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