The 2020 NFL offseason has been something however cozy for Minnesota Vikings followers. Not solely did the franchise must half methods with seven starters who had change into common family names — together with Stefon Diggs — within the Mike Zimmer period, however now the safety at operating again can be in jeopardy.
Basic Supervisor Rick Spielman will doubtless must proceed to piece collectively a crew that’s been hamstrung by its veteran contracts and minimal wage cap area — which isn’t a foul factor. The Vikings have the items to win within the subsequent few years and preserving one specific participant subsequent offseason can be very important to preserving these probabilities alive.
Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox listed a participant from all 32 NFL franchises whose groups “can’t afford to lose” them within the 2021 offseason. Security Anthony Harris was Knox’s selection for the Vikings. Harris signed a one-year franchise tender and can be an unrestricted free agent subsequent season.
Right here’s his case extending Harris’ contract:
Initially signed as an undrafted free agent out of Virginia in 2015, Harris has labored his method into the beginning lineup and has change into one of many high safeties within the NFL. Although he has by no means made the Professional Bowl, he did lead the NFL in interceptions this previous season, snagging six of them to go along with 60 tackles and 11 passes defended.
Retaining the 29-year-old security within the fold can be necessary as Minnesota is within the technique of revamping its secondary. Cornerbacks Mackensie Alexander, Trae Waynes and Xavier Rhodes all departed this offseason.
The Vikings can’t let Harris do the identical subsequent offseason.
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A Fixture within the Vikings Secondary
After the exodus of all three beginning cornerbacks from final season, Zimmer is beginning contemporary with a younger group that’ll want to return alongside rapidly. Harris and fellow beginning security Harrison Smith give the Vikings secondary a fixture to construct round within the upcoming years.
The duo has persistently been ranked as the highest security tandem within the NFL and offers the protection veteran expertise and flexibility. Harris, the ball-hawking free security presents among the finest protection presences within the NFL, whereas Smith has remained among the finest field safeties in disrupting opposing offenses. Smith is signed by way of 2021 and can doubtless renew his contract and retire with the Vikings — which means securing Harris long-term may result in a promising future for the Vikings protection.
Harris is unlikely to obtain a brand new cope with the Vikings needing to pay operating again Dalvin Prepare dinner this offseason. Harris will make $11.four million this yr on his franchise tag, which means he’ll doubtless expect the same annual wage in future negotiations.
The excellent news is apart from Harris and Prepare dinner, the Vikings don’t have many imperatives participant contracts expiring in 2021 because the crew can assess its future with a clearer view after maneuvering by way of many modifications this offseason.
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