Minnesota was right to not give Harris a long-term deal
Coming into the 2020 NFL season, the Vikings had a tough decision to make. Safety Anthony Harris was starting to look like a star in the making and Minnesota had to figure out if they were going to let him walk in free agency or sign him to a big deal.
Instead of making a decision with long-term implications, the Vikings decided to take another look at Harris by giving him a franchise tag that cost the team about $11.5 million. Now that their rental is over, things look a little different.
Harris’ 2020 season was a disappointment in many ways. After intercepting six passes in 2019 and three in 2018, the safety failed to intercept a single pass this year.
His pass breakups took a dip as well, going from 11 last year to five this season. The only area that saw his numbers improve was tackles, but that was mostly due to the struggles among the team’s front seven.
While Minnesota is out the money from their franchise tag, now they should be able to convince themselves that they can move on from Anthony Harris and find a cheaper alternative in free agency or the NFL Draft for 2021, and that’s a win.
But another loss comes in the form of the compensatory pick that the Vikings will get when Harris is signed. The decrease in his stock could cause him to get a much lower payday, dropping the team’s pick from a possible third or fourth-round pick.
Parting ways with Harris is a likely move for Minnesota this offseason. But then again, that was the thought after the 2020 NFL season as well.