Earlier in the month, the Minnesota Vikings placed the franchise tag on 28-year-old safety Anthony Harris. Later on, reports came out that Harris was available for trade in exchange for a mid-to-late-round draft pick.
However, contrary to those reports, the Vikings have reportedly been “actively discussing” a long-term deal for the five-year veteran per Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press. With that news, it is increasingly likely that Harris suits up for Minnesota in 2020.
After starting just 17 games in his first four seasons, the former undrafted rookie burst onto the scene in 2019. Starting all 14 of the games he played in, Harris recorded 60 tackles, 11 passes defended, and a league-high six interceptions.
Had Minnesota not used the franchise tag on Harris, the 6-foot-1 safety would have likely fetched a pretty penny on the free agency market.
Harris’ breakout season allowed the Vikings to finish the 2019 season ranked fifth in the NFL in scoring defense as they allowed just 18.9 points a game. The Vikings 17 total interceptions last season was the third-best mark in the league behind only the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers.
As a team, the Vikings finished the season with a 10-6 record and made it to the NFC Divisional Round before falling to the eventual NFC-champion San Fransisco 49ers.
If Harris ends up staying in Minnesota, he will join a defense that has added pieces like defensive tackle Michael Pierce and defensive end Anthony Zettel while retaining linebacker Eric Wilson who was a free agent this year.