A key cog on the Vikings’ injury-stricken offensive line last season, Mike Harris received an offer from Minnesota worth $3.5MM over two seasons, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
This offer comes in a bit lower than Tomasson expected, with previous reports indicating Harris could have anticipated a two-year proposal worth $5MM.
Confirming the offer to Tomasson, Harris said it’s too early to tell whether he’ll accept it and return to the Twin Cities. The unrestricted free agent told Tomasson he’d prefer to reach an agreement to re-sign by Monday, when the legal tampering period begins for other teams to contact Harris.
The former Chargers UDFA signee earned $1.54MM last season in Minnesota, so this offer isn’t exactly a notable raise and could lead Harris to wait for other teams’ potential interest despite preferring to stay in Minnesota.
Harris started all 17 of the Vikings’ games last season after being moved from tackle to right guard. As both John Sullivan and Phil Loadholt were lost for the season before the regular season began, Harris was productive at his new spot, ranking as Pro Football Focus’ No. 23 guard for 2015.
With Loadholt and Matt Kalil uncertain to be on the Vikings’ 2016 payroll despite being under contract, Harris would represent a cheaper option to plug in at either guard or tackle.
The Vikings have four linemen — Sullivan, Loadholt, Brandon Fusco and Joe Berger — on veteran contracts, with three of that group being at least 30 years old. One of the few key Vikings free agents, Harris turns 28 in December.
They currently possess $24.8MM worth of cap room, and that’s including deals for Kalil and Mike Wallace, which are each worth just more than $11MM AAV. Cutting ties with either would save the Vikings more than $11MM.
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