After spending 10 years playing for the New York Jets, free agent linebacker David Harris agrees to terms with New England.
After spending the first 10 seasons of his career in New York playing for the Jets, linebacker David Harris has found a new home. He has agreed to terms on a two-year contract with former division rival New England Patriots.
A fourth-round pick of the Jets out of Michigan in 2007, Harris has totaled over a 1,000 tackles (1088) and 35.5 sacks. However, as the Jets entered the 2017 offseason, they have released numerous veterans, most recently receiver Eric Decker, in what appears to be an effort to both offer playing time to young players and reduce payroll. Harris was released after he and the organization were unable to come to terms on a reduced contract number for the upcoming season on June 6.
The Jets were only able to qualify for the playoffs twice during Harris tenure with the Jets, he now joins a team that appears to be the clear favorite in the AFC for the upcoming season. Adam Schefter of ESPN reported the defending Super Bowl champion signed Harris to help provide depth and talent to the middle of the front.
It will be curious to see what and were Harris fits on the defense. The team still has Dont’a Hightower in the middle, and Harris doesn’t profile very well on the outside. New England currently employs primarily a 4-3 defensive scheme, which relies on a single middle linebacker, and often the outside linebacker does things like drop into coverage.
With the addition of Harris, Patriots likely will employ more schemes with two middle linebackers while the presence of both Hightower and Harris should help keep both players fresh throughout the season. The addition of Harris alone helps what was already one of the best defenses in the AFC this past season.