Vikings safety Anthony Harris will play out his one-year tender, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero (on Twitter). The sides are still talking, but the St. Paul Pioneer Press’ Chris Tomasson notes a deal is a “long shot” as the deadline nears (Twitter link). Per the franchise tag rules, the two sides will have to wait until next year before resuming extension talks.
Harris took his time, but he eventually signed his one-year, $11.4MM tag. There was never a real threat of a holdout, though Harris was eager for a pay bump.
The advanced metrics position Harris as one of the league’s very best safeties and the market has advanced significantly in recent years. He graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 1-ranked safety last season, a campaign during which he intercepted six passes. A long-term extension for Harris would likely pay him upwards of $14MM per year, in line with the position’s salary leaders.
Minnesota will carry Harris’ lofty tag figure and Harrison Smith‘s $10.75MM cap number on its books this season. With Smith remaining the centerpiece of the Vikings’ secondary, it seems likely the Vikings will need to address his deal — which has fallen from first to 11th over the past four years. It remains to be seen if the Vikings will revisit extension talks with Harris next year. This will be the breakout performer turned 29 in June, so his next negotiations — with the Vikings or another team — will come just ahead of his age-30 slate.
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