Minnesota Vikings news: Anthony Harris signs franchise tender

Anthony Harris #41 of the Minnesota Vikings (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Anthony Harris #41 of the Minnesota Vikings (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

Minnesota Vikings safety Anthony Harris signed his franchise tag tender, yet he wants to stay for the long run.

The Minnesota Vikings saw a lot of turnaround within their secondary this offseason, namely losing defensive backs Trae Waynes, Xavier Rhodes and Mackensie Alexander to deals elsewhere.

But Minnesota saw one piece it didn’t want to hit the open market for nothing, safety Anthony Harris, who received the franchise tag earlier this offseason. There was speculation the Vikings were looking to trade Harris even after receiving the tag. But it doesn’t look like that will be the case now.

Harris, who’ll turn 29 years old before the 2020 campaign begins, announced on his Twitter account he had signed his one-year franchise tender which will be worth $11,441,000.

“I will let my agents and the Vikings work towards long term certainty in Minnesota, but I am excited to be back for the 2020 season,” Harris wrote. “I am continuing my focus on what it takes to be successful both as a team and as an individual. I am excited for the new challenges the 2020 season will bring, but I am most excited for the opportunity to help bring a Super Bowl to Minnesota and the best fans in the country. Skol!”

Harris’ story has been a notable one. An undrafted free agent signee of the Minnesota Vikings in 2015, the former Virginia defensive back worked his way up through the ranks, serving as a reserve defensive back and special teams contributor all the way to a regular starter in 2019.

And all Harris did was end up tied for the NFL lead in interceptions a season ago with six.

The Vikings clearly identified Harris as a piece they wanted to solidify a defensive backfield going through a lot of changes in advance of the 2020 season. Having an established veteran with playmaking skills to mentor and help advise newcomers, like rookies Jeff Gladney and Cameron Dantzler, could work wonders in coming seasons.

Harris hopes to be part of the equation for the long run, too.

There are still some items on the to-do list, however. Both Harris and the Vikings have until July 15 to work out a potential long-term deal. If no agreement is reached, Harris will play 2020 on the one-year franchise tag and will either be pegged to receive yet another more-expensive franchise tag in 2021 or hit the open market a little less than a year from now.

With $12,267,552 in available cap space, according to Over the Cap and not accounting for all their rookies yet to be signed, the Vikings will have to think carefully about how they distribute their financial resources.

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Regardless, it looks like Harris wants to remain in place for a long time. And yet another highly productive season at the back end of Minnesota’s defense could put him in line for a massive deal in 2021.