LOS ANGELES (AP) — Former NFL star defensive back Darren Sharper has been arrested on suspicion of rape, the Los Angeles Police Department said.
Sharper, who played 14 seasons in the NFL with Green Bay, Minnesota and New Orleans, was arrested and booked Friday and released on $200,000 bail just before midnight. He faces a Feb. 14 court appearance.
LAPD said it is investigating Sharper in connection with two sexual assaults that occurred in October and earlier this month in the West Los Angeles area.
New Orleans Police Department spokeswoman Remi Braden said Saturday in a statement that NOPD is also investigating an allegation of sexual assault filed against Sharper on Sept. 24.
Sharper, 38, played in the NFL from 1997-2010, mostly with the Packers. He retired after the 2010 season.
Sharper was selected All-Pro six times and chosen for the Pro Bowl five times. He played in two Super Bowls, one with the Packers as a rookie and a second with the Saints after the 2009 season.
He has been working as an analyst for the NFL Network.
“Darren has been suspended without pay until further notice, effective immediately,” said Alex Riethmiller, spokesman for NFL Network, in an email Saturday.
Metrodome deflated for good
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings’ Metrodome has deflated for the last time.
Officials from the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority opened the stadium’s relief vents to begin the deflation at 7:15 a.m. Saturday. Fans providing the air that supports the roof were turned off. It was done in 35 minutes.
The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority gave the go-ahead despite concerns about weather conditions. According to the National Weather Service, between 4 and 5 inches of snow fell in the area overnight. Winds were a steady 5 to 10 mph Saturday morning.
The deflation will make way for construction of a new $1 billion stadium located roughly where the Dome stands now in downtown Minneapolis.
Authority Vice Chairman Bill McCarthy called it “a sad and exciting day at the same time.”
Jets retain both coordinators
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — The New York Jets have retained several members of coach Rex Ryan’s staff, including offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg and defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman.
Ryan keeps most of his staff intact, with assistant head coach/running backs coach Anthony Lynn, defensive line coach Karl Dunbar, offensive line coach Mike Devlin and wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal all back after facing expiring contracts.
The team announced Saturday that Bobby April III was promoted to linebackers coach after serving as quality control-defense last season. He replaces Brian VanGorder, who left to become the defensive coordinator at Notre Dame.
Ryan still needs to hire a special teams coordinator after Ben Kotwica left to take the same job with the Washington Redskins.