Vikings decide to use the franchise tag on safety Anthony Harris

(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Anthony Harris
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Anthony Harris /

For the first time in a handful of years, the Minnesota Vikings have reportedly decided to use their franchise tag and this time it’s being placed on safety Anthony Harris.

Using the franchise tag is not something the Minnesota Vikings do very often. In fact, the last time it happened was back in 2011 when they placed the tag on linebacker Chad Greenway.

On Monday, however, the Vikings decided to utilize the franchise tag to keep safety Anthony Harris around for the 2020 season according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport. The tag will prevent Harris from signing with another team this year, but Minnesota can still trade him if they are presented with an enticing offer.

Financially, using the franchise tag on Harris was likely the cheaper route for the Vikings to take. He previously had a projected market value of almost $14 million according to Spotrac and this year’s franchise tag is expected to only cost Minnesota around $11.4 million.

The tag also allows the Vikings to give Harris another year to prove that his performance in 2019 wasn’t a fluke. The safety had a very impressive campaign last season, but Minnesota clearly wants to see more consistency from him before they reward him with a long-term contract.

During his first season as a full-time starting safety for the Vikings defense in 2019, Harris put up some great numbers. In 14 games, he finished with 60 tackles, 11 pass breakups, and six interceptions.

With the move, Minnesota at least gets to keep their two starting safeties from a year ago on their roster for 2020. The Vikings’ secondary is expected to undergo a makeover this year, but using the tag on Harris keeps the changes from becoming too drastic.

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This may not be exactly what Harris wanted heading into the offseason. But he’s still getting a very nice pay raise and he gets to remain with the team that originally gave him a shot in the NFL.