With their cornerback depth disappearing this offseason, the Minnesota Vikings should stop making any attempts to trade their talented safety.
In his first opportunity as a full-time starter for the Minnesota Vikings in 2019, safety Anthony Harris exceeded pretty much every expectation anyone had for him heading into the season.
Thanks in part to snagging a league-leading six interceptions, Harris was arguably one of the top safeties in the entire NFL last year. The timing of his performance couldn’t have been any more perfect either since he became a free agent at the end of the season.
Most assumed Harris would land a big-money deal somewhere this offseason and it likely wasn’t going to be with the Vikings due to their lack of funds. However, Minnesota made the surprising decision to use the franchise tag on their safety and he will now remain with the team for at least one more year unless something changes between now and the start of next season.
Despite the Vikings tagging Harris, it’s been reported that the team is looking to find a trade destination for him this year. This might have been the plan before the start of free agency, but some of Minnesota’s recent departures should make them think otherwise.
Since the start of the new league year, the Vikings have seen their cornerback depth go out the window. Longtime contributors Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes, and Mackensie Alexander are all gone and Minnesota is currently left with one of the youngest groups of corners in the NFL.
Experience is now lacking in the Vikings’ secondary and dealing Harris would make this even worse. If Harris were to be traded this year, Harrison Smith would be the only member of Minnesota’s secondary in 2020 to have more than five career starts.
The Vikings’ starting defense is already going to feature a bunch of changes next season, so keeping their starting safety duo from 2019 is something that should at least help avoid the secondary from turning into a disaster.
If Harris were to be dealt this year and Smith had to miss anytime due to injury next season, Minnesota’s defensive backfield would likely be in a lot of trouble.
So while Vikings general manager Rick Spielman would like to add another draft pick to his arsenal, the best decision would be for him to take Harris off the trade block right now. Maybe something will change before next season’s trade deadline. But for now, Minnesota needs to keep as much experience and talent in their secondary as they can.