A recent report indicated as many as 10 teams were interested in longtime Broncos cornerback Chris Harris, but not much has emerged on this front since the legal tampering period began. But this market may soon accelerate.
Despite having been mentioned as a Harris suitor before last year’s trade deadline and early this offseason, the Eagles were not included among the teams with reported interest entering free agency. That appears to have changed, with Troy Renck of Denver7 reporting (via Twitter) the Eagles are indeed pursuing the four-time Pro Bowler.
So are the Chargers, Renck adds, and Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets the Jets are in the mix as well. Both were mentioned in the previous group of Harris suitors. The Saints, however, were not. But they are now interested, Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News tweets.
The Eagles were mentioned as a Byron Jones suitor, but they watched him choose the Dolphins and a cornerback-record contract. It almost certainly will not take a $17MM-per-year deal to land Harris, who is entering his age-31 season. But given the elite slot work he has delivered for most of his career and his ability to be a high-end boundary corner as well, Harris will not come cheap.
Philadelphia re-signed Jalen Mills but plans to move him to safety. Ronald Darby is a free agent. The Eagles have struggled to find reliable cornerback play for years. Harris has been one of this era’s most reliable cover men, and with Jones and James Bradberry now off the market, this will be a key domino to fall.
The Bolts and Jets each reside in the top 10 in current cap space, each holding nearly $40MM as the official start of free agency looms in minutes. While the Chargers still have Casey Hayward and Desmond King under contract, the Jets possess a greater need after having also been linked to Jones and Bradberry. Gang Green did, however, re-signed Brian Poole. With Harris’ best work coming in the slot, the Jets’ Poole retention may impede them in a Harris pursuit.
New Orleans has well-paid veteran Janoris Jenkins on its payroll, with Marshon Lattimore now extension-eligible, and is up against the cap. The Saints would seemingly have to pitch their roster talent to Harris, who has voiced a desire to return to a winning situation but also to be paid what he’s worth after he took a Broncos-friendly deal late in 2014.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.