Former Vikings safety Anthony Harris has signed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Eagles, as first reported by ESPN.
That's a big pay cut for Harris, who made $11.4 million on the franchise tag last season. His market was underwhelming to the point that the veteran safety recently switched representation, becoming a client of well-known agent Drew Rosenhaus.
Losing Harris is a tough blow for the Vikings, who reportedly had interest in bringing him back and have no obvious candidate to replace him this season as of now. $5 million for Harris is incredible value, but the Vikings were short on cap space and Harris may have wanted a fresh start.
This is a prove-it type of deal for Harris, who will hit free agency again in 2022 and could have a much better market with an increased salary cap, provided he plays well in 2021.
There's plenty of reason to believe that Harris will bounce back in Philly this fall. He was the best coverage safety in the NFL across the 2018 and 2019 seasons, according to Pro Football Focus. Harris had ten interceptions over that span, if you include playoff games. Seven of those came in an incredible 2019 season in which he intercepted Matt Ryan (twice), Russell Wilson, Philip Rivers, Aaron Rodgers, and Drew Brees.
Harris had a disappointing 2020 campaign, although it wasn't entirely his fault. With the Vikings replacing all three of their cornerbacks from 2019 and starting two rookies at the position, his role changed significantly. Harris had to cover for the mistakes of those young corners while assuming more responsibility as a tackler due to injuries to the Vikings' front seven. The defense as a whole was awful and Harris was dragged down with the ship.
However, some of his struggles were self-inflicted. Harris had some moments of questionable effort as a tackler and was caught out of position in coverage at times.
Despite coming off a down season, Harris's track record suggests he'll get it going again in 2020. The former undrafted free agent out of Virginia (2015) has 28 career passes defended and nearly 300 tackles in his six-year career. He's a rangy, ball-hawking safety with excellent instincts and physicality when he's at the top of his game. It's not a stretch to all to say that Harris was the best safety in the NFL in 2019. PFF graded him as such.
Harris, who turns 30 in October, joins an Eagles secondary that also features cornerbacks Darius Slay and Avonte Maddox and safety Rodney McLeod.
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