Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. . .this post is coming to you live from the lovely Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, California. Mrs. Gonzo is having some surgery done this morning, and this place has wireless internet, so I'm here in the lobby catching up on a few things.
So, while listening to the NFL Network on the way here this morning, the word came across the wire that our division rivals, the Chicago Bears, had dumped safety Chris Harris. If you'll remember, both Harris and Brandon Merriweather were benched prior to the Sunday night thumping the Vikings took in Chicago in favor of Chris Conte and Major Wright. In fact, Harris was deactivated entirely for that game. Harris, however, did start last week's game with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in London, while Merriweather didn't play a snap in either of the past two games for the Bears.
I don't know if I'd use the word "shocking" to describe this move as much as I'd use the word "non-sensical." Merriweather is making significantly more than Harris, and has been just as bad. For crying out loud, Harris was an All-Pro safety just last season. Not a Pro Bowler, an All-Pro. I find it hard to believe that his play has fallen off that far. Factor in the fact that the only form of tackling Merriweather seems to be familiar with involves driving his helmet directly into the helmet of an opposing player, and the Bears seem to have significantly weakened themselves at the safety position.
Now, since Harris was released after the trading deadline, he will have to pass through waivers, which means that every team in the league will get a chance to claim him at his current salary. . .he's set to make $1.10 million this year, so whoever picked him up would only be looking at about half a million in salary considerations since we're half way through the year.
As far as the Vikings picking Harris up, waiver claims are processed based on records, with the team with the worst record having the highest priority. As it stands now, with a record of 1-6, the Vikings are fourth on the waiver priority list (as near as I can tell) behind the three teams that are still currently winless (the Indianapolis Colts, the Miami Dolphins, and the St. Louis Rams). So, if the Vikings wanted to put a claim in on Harris, they would be able to get him if none of those three teams put a claim on him first.
I think that Harris would be a nice addition to the secondary at a cheap price. I'm not sure who the team would dump to pick him up (cough TyrellJohnson cough), but he would certainly be a help to the secondary, in my opinion.
(Hat tip to bleedpurple426 for pointing this out in the FanShots first.)