7 bold predictions for the Minnesota Vikings 2021 offseason

(Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Kyle Rudolph
(Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Kyle Rudolph /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Anthony Harris /

Minnesota will let Harris walk

We’ll forgive you if this feels like deja vu, but the Vikings are unlikely to make the same mistake twice with Anthony Harris.

The talented safety appeared to be ready to cash in on the free-agent market last offseason, but then Minnesota surprised many by using the franchise tag for the first time since 2011 and just the second time since 2003.

It’s unclear what the Vikings’ plan was with Harris as they reportedly shopped him before the 2020 NFL Draft and then they tried to work out a long-term extension with the safety when that didn’t work. In the end, Harris wound up playing on the one-year, $11.7 million franchise tender, and then he had one of the worst seasons of his career in 2020.

Although Harris slipped to 39th in PFF’s overall safety grades this season, his track record as a safety that ranked in the top five in 2018 (fifth) and 2019 (second) should entice someone to pay him on the free-agent market this year.

The decline in performance, the potential steep cost to retain him, and his age (he’ll turn 30 next October) make him expendable and Minnesota will likely try to replace him by committee in 2021.