We could be looking at one of the biggest free agency periods in recent memory if some of the notable names actually hit the open market. Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Derrick Henry are just a few of the big names set to hit unrestricted free agency when the new league year opens on March 18th. One or more stands a good chance of signing a contract with their current team before then, but there is a chance one or more is taking calls when the tampering period opens on March 16th.
2019 in review
Anthony Harris played his best football in 2019, as he led the league with six interceptions as he graded out as Pro Football Focus’ best safety. Harris also saw more work in the slot, defending tight ends and receivers, upping his versatility and stock in free agency. He also has only missed four tackles on his 100 attempts over the last two seasons according to PFF. There wasn’t anyone better at the position in 2019.
Scheme-wise, both Washington and Dallas look like great fits for Harris, but his ability would translate to any team in need of an upgrade at safety. The Browns are one of those teams with their safety, Damarious Randall also hitting free agency this season and they also have the cap space to make it happen.
Do the Vikings want to keep him?
The Vikings probably want to keep him, but they are in a tough spot with the cap. Head coach Mike Zimmer also had this to say while at the combine, “I love Anthony,” Zimmer said, according to the Star Tribune’s Andrew Krammer. “If he doesn’t come back, I think he’s earned everything he’s got, but if you put up the positions most important on defense it’s probably not going to be safety.” That says a lot about how they view the position and with the Vikings rarely using the franchise tag, Harris looks all but gone.
Harris’ ability to track deep passes and his strong tackling, should keep him as an IDP asset wherever he goes. And, as usual, the better a team’s defense, the worse it is for passing stats. If Harris can shore up a pass defense, his presence would ultimately help the running game for his team.
There is no “official” rumored interest out there yet, but I would be surprised if we don’t hear something soon about the Browns looking hard at Harris sooner than later.
Harris has been hit with the franchise tag, but there is still a chance that he’ll be traded according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.