The Eagles and Anthony Harris are parting ways. Philadelphia released the veteran safety from its practice squad. While these moves often precede need-based reunions, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets this is a mutual parting.
Harris seeks the opportunity to join another team’s active roster, per Schefter. Another team could have poached him off the Eagles’ practice squad, but that scenario would have limited Harris’ flexibility. Going into what would be his age-31 season, Harris is back on the market.
After the Vikings cuffed Harris with their franchise tag in 2020, a modest market for the veteran’s services formed the following year. Despite Harris having a six-interception season under his belt (2019), he only landed a one-year, $4MM offer from the Eagles last March. This year, Philly brought him back on a one-year, $2.5MM pact.
A former UDFA out of Virginia, Harris spent six seasons with the Vikings. He began a rise to becoming Harrison Smith‘s backend sidekick in 2018 and started 39 games with Minnesota from 2018-20. The Eagles used him as a full-timer last season, and Pro Football Focus — which had graded Harris as a top-three safety in 2018 and ’19 — assigned the seven-year veteran a middling grade (53rd among safeties) in his lone Eagles campaign.
This has been an interesting offseason for the Eagles at safety. They had re-signed Harris and added longtime 49ers safety Jaquiski Tartt, but after not being overly impressed with either’s performance during training camp, the team released both and made a trade for Saints nickel C.J. Gardner-Johnson. The latter is moving from the slot position to the back line with the Eagles. Marcus Epps had surpassed Harris as the top safety for the Eagles, and Harris’ former Vikings teammate will team with Gardner-Johnson as Philadelphia’s safety starters to open the year.