Former NFL superstar Darren Sharper -- a 5-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champ -- has been arrested in L.A. on suspicion of rape ... TMZ Sports has learned.

Law enforcement sources tell us ... the 38-year-old was arrested on Friday -- and he's been linked to 2 sexual assaults ... one that occurred in Oct. 2013 and the other in January 2014.

The identity of the alleged victim or victims has not been released.

Sharper was booked at an L.A. jail -- and was released on $200k bail.

Sharper -- a hard-hitting safety who played for the Packers, Vikings and Saints -- is currently an analyst for the NFL Network.