Heading into this offseason, we know that the Philadelphia Eagles must improve their wide receiver depth and secondary. They could either do this in the NFL draft, which is loaded at both positions or go on a spending spree in free agency.
If the Eagles choose to do the latter of the two options, they will have to make a couple of tough decisions. For starters, Philadelphia needs to figure out if they are bringing back cornerbacks Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills, who both had their fair share of good and bad moments.
Furthermore, the Eagles’ front office has to make a decision on veteran safeties Malcolm Jenkins, who wants a new contract and pending free-agent Ronald McLeod.
Both Jenkins and McLeod had a solid 2019 campaigns, but are also getting older. The Eagles might feel as if they have to get younger in the secondary heading into next season.
Therefore, if Philadelphia decides to move on from Jenkins and McLeod, they should inquire about Minnesota Vikings safety Anthony Harris.
The 28-year-old Harris had a breakout 2019 season for Minnesota and will be one of the most coveted free agents.
In 14 games, the former undrafted free agent out of the University of Virginia tied the NFL mark for interceptions with six. Additionally, the 6-foot-1 defensive back had a career-high 60 combined tackles and 11 pass deflections.
Did I also mention that this season was Harris’ first-year as a full-time starter? One could only imagine what he will do for an encore performance next season.
However, the next question at hand is will Harris be roaming centerfield in Minnesota or another city? Well, as things currently stand, the Vikings might not be able to re-sign the playmaking safety.
According to OverTheCap.com, the Vikings are projected to be about $10 million over the salary cap with NFL free agency on the horizon. This means that Minnesota will have to make a few tough cuts to bring back Harris.
In regards to the Eagles, they are projected to have $44 million in cap space heading into free agency. We already know that the Eagles are reportedly going to “go hard” at cornerbacks Chris Harris Jr. and Byron Jones this offseason.
But what is stopping them from going after Harris, who Pro Football Focus listed as the biggest surprise at safety this season?
“Harris’ performance this year didn’t come as too much of a surprise after he earned an excellent 89.0 overall grade on limited snaps last year. However, over the offseason, the NFL was less enthused, as Harris signed a one-year, $3.1 million deal to stay with Minnesota. All he’s done for an encore is not allow a single touchdown in his coverage. He picked off seven passes and recorded five pass breakups on 18 targets.”
Additionally, Spotrac.com projects that Harris’ calculated market value will be a five-year, $69 million deal with an average annual salary of $13.8 million.
With that being said, the Eagles might be better off giving a player such as Harris $13 million per year, who can not only play in the box but also line up in the slot. Rather than giving Jenkins, for example, a two-year extension around $12 million per year.
If Philadelphia is truly committed to fixing their secondary and possibly getting younger, then Harris should be on their radar.