Where will this first-time Free Agent land?
By: Eric Sojash
We are now officially entering the 2021 free agency and have a clear view of who is set to hit the open market after the deadline for NFL teams to hand out franchise tags has now passed. With high-profile defensive backs Justin Simmons, Marcus Williams, and Marcus Maye receiving the tag by their respective teams, one notable player available for teams to bid on will be Minnesota Vikings Free Safety, Anthony Harris.
Anthony Harris, who is an unrestricted free agent, is coming off a rollercoaster season in which he set career highs in tackles (104) and passes defended (7) but also finished the campaign with zero takeaways. The Vikings defense struggled to say the least ranking 27th in yards allowed (393.3 YDS/G) and 29th in point allowed (29.7 PTS/G) as opposing teams were able to move the ball with ease all season long.
Although 2020 was a down season, the 29-year-old who played this season on the franchise tag earning $11.4M, was coming off a highly productive 2019 season where he recorded seven takeaways (6 INTs and 1 FR). The Vikings opted not to tag Harris a second consecutive time and the two sides were not able to reach a long-term agreement, allowing Harris to test the waters.
With Harris still on the safe side of 30, there should be plenty of suitors lining up to sign the first-time free agent who spent all six years of his career with the Minnesota Vikings. Here are 4 teams I believe will make the strongest push to acquire the veteran.
- Indianapolis Colts
The Indianapolis Colts are a team I think will catch many by surprise in 2021. They are coming off a very solid season led by their defense. The Colts made a blockbuster trade this offseason to acquire their new franchise QB, they also have a ton of cap space and are expected to bring back the majority of their defensive core. Adding a player like Harris might be stealing and could be the final addition that puts this team in the Superbowl.
- Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns took huge steps forward as an organization in 2020 and will look to build off that success this offseason. If there is a need the team should prioritize it would be on the defensive side of the ball. The secondary needs an upgrade, and many assume with all their projected cap space, the Browns will be major players in free agency. Harris can quickly fill a need for a team looking to take that next step.
- Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys just made headlines with their record-setting contract extension with franchise QB Dak Prescott. Now that the team’s offensive future is secure, owner Jerry Jones can turn his attention to the defensive side of the ball. Dallas was abysmal in 2020 and the secondary was the weakest link. I fully expect the Cowboys to add a veteran safety to sure up the back end, especially seeing as this is a team and franchise looking to return to relevancy.
- Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jacksonville Jaguars are in the midst of a full rebuild and hold the number one pick in the 2021 draft thanks to an abysmal 2020 campaign. While the team has needs across the board, possessing the largest projected cap space should allow the team to address multiple positions in a single offseason. The new-look Jags with all their cap to throw around could be the most attractive landing spot for a player like Anthony Harris who may not get another opportunity to cash in as a free agent.