Sharper Image...or Another Mirage?

After losing former Ravens linebacker Edgerton Hartwell to the Atlanta Falcons in 2005's Free Agency Derby, the Seahawks are pulling out all the stops to sign another LB with Baltimore ties. </p>

When Jamie Sharper, the former Raven and Houston Texan, came to Seattle on Thursday, the wooing began with a limo ride to one of the Emerald City’s finest restaurants with president Tim Ruskell and linebackers coach John Marshall.

According to some reports, Day Two of SharperWatch 2005 featured a tour of Qwest Field, complete with JumboTron and piped-in crowd noise.

Sharper has played both middle and outside linebacker in his eight-year NFL career, and the Seahawks have a need at both spots - especially after relesing OLB Anthony Simmons and losing MLB Orlando Huff to the Arizona Cardinals.

Sharper visited the Seahawks in 2000, but decided to stay with the Baltimore Ravens. The Houston Texans selected Sharper in the 2002 expansion draft, but they released him last week in order to save almost $5 million under their salary cap.

Sharper met Wednesday with the Cincinnati Bengals. Cincinnati’s head coach, Marvin Lewis, is the former defensive coordinator for the Ravens. The Cleveland Browns are among the other named teams that are also interested

Baltimore's second-round pick in 1997 out of Virginia, Sharper did not miss a start in three seasons in the middle with the Texans. He missed only one start in five seasons while playing outside for the Ravens. He will be 31 years old in November, but his last two seasons have been his most productive. In 2003, he led the NFL in tackles with 166, and he registered 139 stops in 2004. He has averaged 137.5 tackles over the last four years.

The Seahawks do not have the cap room to sign Sharper without renegotiating some current player contracts. But it appears that if Jamie Sharper wears a uniform other than Seattle’s in 2005, it won’t be for lack of trying on the team's part.

UPDATE: Clare Farnsworth of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that Sharper has left Seattle - wearing a Seahawks hat - and both sides will continue talks throughout the weekend. Again, it appears that the team's interest in Jamie Sharper is very serious.

Stay tuned to Seahawks.NET for further updates...

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