Minnesota Vikings safety Anthony Harris has signed his franchise tender, according to ESPN’s Courtney Cronin. Harris didn’t exactly confirm that on Sunday, but he did announce on his Instagram that he’s “excited to be back” with the Vikings for the 2020 season.
Harris was signed by the Vikings in 2015 as an undrafted free agent, and began on the practice squad. He made it into his first NFL game in December that year, and became a starter at the beginning of the 2019 season. After going on such a journey with the Vikings, Harris wrote in his post that he wants to spend the rest of his career with Minnesota.
Harris had 60 combined tackles during the 2019 season, and he tied for the league lead in interceptions with six. He turns 29 on June 4 and will make just over $11 million in 2020.
When the Vikings tagged Harris in March, it was the first time they’d used the franchise tag since 2011. But with Harris and several other key players all becoming free agents at the end of last season, they didn’t have much of a choice — even with cap issues that needed resolving. The Vikings had to extend Kirk Cousins’ contract to free up the cap space to tag Harris, which happened just hours before Harris’s tag was announced.
It was also possible could have been traded after being tagged, since Harris would have been considered one of the top safeties on the free agent market. But with Harris expected to make between $12 million and $14 million a year, the price tag was likely too steep for many teams and a trade never materialized.
Instead, Harris and the Vikings are reuniting for another year, and possibly more. Both sides have reportedly been discussing a long-term deal since March, and were working on it as recently as late April. Harris wrote in his post that he will let his agents and the Vikings continue to work on that deal.
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