Anthony Harris Ranked as No. 3 Free Agent in NFL by PFF
Fresh off of a breakout season in which he led the league in interceptions, Vikings safety Anthony Harris is going to receive a substantial raise this offseason.
Pro Football Focus came out with the list of their top 50 free agents on Tuesday, and Harris was all the way up at No. 3, nine spots ahead of the next-closest safety. Here's what they had to say about the former undrafted free agent out of Virginia:
One of the league’s most underrated players, Harris has been a playmaker on the back end of the Minnesota defense since seeing extended playing time in 2018. Harris has the top regular-season coverage grade among safeties at 91.6 after ranking sixth last season. He’s played the majority of his snaps at free safety, but this season has seen him play about 40% of his snaps in the box or over the slot, showing that he can play a more versatile role in a defense. Harris has nine interceptions and seven pass breakups over the last two years, all while missing just four of his 100 tackle attempts. Playmaking, sure-tackling safeties are of immense value in the NFL, and Harris has shown both traits as much as any safety in the league over the last two seasons.
Harris, as the article mentions, was PFF's top-ranked safety this season, and he and fellow Vikings safety Harrison Smith were recently named to the Pro Football Writer's Association's All-NFC team. Yet somehow, Harris was snubbed as both a Pro Bowler and an All-Pro in 2019.
In his first full season as a starter, Harris became a crucial part of the Vikings' defense. He picked off six passes during the regular season, which was tied for the most in the league along with first team All-Pro corners Tre'Davious White and Stephon Gilmore. If you include his postseason interception of Drew Brees, Harris led the league (though the Titans' Kevin Byard (six) and Logan Ryan (five) could still catch his seven). In addition to the picks, Harris recorded 60 tackles, 11 passes defended, and recovered a fumble.
Now, he's going to make a lot of money on the open market. Harris made just over $2 million over his first four seasons, and signed a restricted free agent tender that paid him around $3 million last season. Judging off of recent contracts handed out to comparable safeties, Harris will command a three or four year deal that pays him $13-14 millon per season.
If the Vikings want to re-sign Harris, they'll have to create some cap room first. We'll dive into the team's free agency and salary cap situations later in the week.