For the first three seasons of his career with the Minnesota Vikings, safety Anthony Harris patiently waited for his chance to make a serious impact. He made a few big plays here and there. . .see his forced fumble at the goal line against Cooper Kupp in 2017. . .but he was mostly a special teamer until this past season.
After the injury to starter Andrew Sendejo, Harris took over at the starter at safety next to Harrison Smith, and certainly made the case for being Smith’s long-term running mate.
The folks from Pro Football Focus named Harris as one of their biggest surprises of 2018. Here’s what they had to say about him:
Harris came in for an injured Andrew Sendejo in Week 6 and never gave back the starting job. After never playing more than 254 snaps in a season since going undrafted in 2015, Harris earned an 89.0 overall grade on 624 snaps this year.
If you’re scoring at home, that 89.0 grade made Harris the second-highest graded player on the Vikings’ entire roster by PFF’s metrics, trailing only Adam Thielen (89.5). In a couple of weeks, Harris is set to hit the free agent market, albeit as a restricted free agent. That means that the Vikings will be able to put a tender offer on him to keep other teams from bringing him in.
According to Vikings Territory (and props to them for having this one before us), placing a first-round tender on Harris would cost the Vikings about $4.429 million, while a second-round tender would cost $3.11 million. There’s also an “original round” tender of a little over $2 million, but that’s likely not an option because the Vikings would get no compensation of that case if Harris were to be signed away since he was an undrafted free agent.
Do you think the Vikings are going to be giving Harris a long-term deal here this offseason, folks? Or do you think they sign him to the one-year deal for this season and worry about it before the 2020 free agency period?