Damon Harrison

Seahawks Add Snacks Harrison To P-Squad

Damon Harrison will be on track to play a ninth NFL season. The Seahawks intend to sign the free agent nose tackle, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

Snacks visited the Seahawks on Tuesday and was scheduled to make a trip to Green Bay for a Packers meeting Wednesday. But the latter summit is off.

While Harrison needed to go through the NFL’s beefed-up COVID-19 testing protocols — six days’ worth of coronavirus tests — before officially joining the Seahawks, Pete Carroll said he has done so and is officially on the team’s 16-man practice squad. The accomplished veteran joining Seattle’s taxi squad likely doubles as a way for the team to stash the longtime starter while he reacclimates.

Harrison, 32 in November, considered retirement while with the Lions, who acquired him via trade from the Giants in 2018. He did start 15 games for Detroit last season and has logged 111 starts in his career. Being 1-for-8 in playoff appearances in his career, Harrison has made it known he seeks a winning situation. The Seahawks, who have made the playoffs in seven of the past eight seasons prior to their 4-0 start this year, will certainly qualify.

Packers To Meet With Snacks Harrison

Defensive tackle Damon Harrison will meet with the Packers on Wednesday, according to Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (on Twitter). That will follow Harrison’s previously-reported Tuesday get-together with the Seahawks. 

The Packers – who have been without Kenny Clark for the last three games – could use the help up front. The Seahawks, meanwhile, don’t necessarily need Snacks. So far, they rank third in the NFL in rush defense, allowing just 3.4 yards per carry to opposing running backs.

Harrison made his name as a fierce run-stuffer with the Jets before signing a lucrative free agent deal with the Giants in 2016. Then, he was shipped to Detroit midway through the 2018 campaign, where he became the first defensive lineman to appear in 17 games during an NFL regular season.

Harrison wasn’t happy with the Lions and considered retirement last year. Eventually, he decided that he still wanted to play, but only for a winning team. The undefeated Packers and Seahawks would fit the bill, giving him a chance to get further than he ever did with the Lions, Giants, or Jets.

Seahawks To Meet With Snacks Harrison

Damon Harrison won’t retire after all. The former All-Pro defensive tackle is slated to meet with the Seahawks next week, according to a source who spoke with ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). The 31-year-old has also drawn interest from the Bears, Packers, and Bengals. 

[RELATED: Seahawks’ Bruce Irvin Done For Year]

Harrison made his name as a fierce run-stuffer with the Jets before signing a lucrative free agent deal with the Giants in 2016. Then, he was shipped to Detroit midway through the 2018 campaign, where he became the first defensive lineman to appear in 17 games during an NFL regular season. But, even as he was putting in overtime, Harrison was unhappy. Last year, he openly contemplated retirement.

I came into [2019 training] camp in shape, but during the first three weeks of camp I think I kind of worked myself out of shape because I wasn’t doing anything,” Harrison said in April. “That was a time where, to be honest with you, we were trying to facilitate a trade. I was hell-bent on getting out of there.”

The Lions released Harrison from his one-year, $11MM deal in February, and we haven’t heard his name mentioned since. Now, he’s ready to play. With four clubs interested in his services, it sounds like Snacks is on the verge of making his return. The Seahawks – who lost Bruce Irvin for the year and have most of their starting defensive linemen on the injury report – could certainty use the help.

NFC North Notes: Lions, Harrison, Vikings

In February, the Lions released Damon Harrison with two years to go before his contract. Long before that, Harrison says he was looking for a way out of Detroit.

I came into [2019 training] camp in shape, but during the first three weeks of camp I think I kind of worked myself out of shape because I wasn’t doing anything,” Harrison told Chris Long on a recent podcast (transcript via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press). “That was a time where, to be honest with you, we were trying to facilitate a trade. I was hell-bent on getting out of there.”

In fact, Snacks says he knew the Lions were a bad fit as soon as he came over via trade with the Giants. Harrison excelled as a run-stuffer for both New York teams, but he didn’t think that he could thrive in Matt Patricia‘s defense.

To be completely honest with you, I didn’t want to go to Detroit because of some things that I heard from some guys in the past and some guys who were there,” Harrison said. “So when I got the call..I didn’t answer the phone for a couple hours. [Lions GM] Bob Quinn was calling me and I didn’t pick up the phone because I was trying to figure out a way to get out of it.”

Now, Harrison is free to find the team that fits him best. Still on the market, Snacks will likely land a deal sometime after the draft.

Here’s more from the NFC North:

  • The Vikings have no reason not to draft a quarterback with one of their five picks in the top 105, Courtney Cronin of ESPN.com opines. And, if Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa somehow falls to them at No. 22 overall, she says it would be “unconscionable to pass on him.” The Vikings extended Kirk Cousins through the 2022 season and the rest of their moves indicate that they’re taking a longer view on things. With that in mind, she feels the Vikings should at least invest a Day 2 pick in the position.
  • Details are in on Darryl Roberts‘ new deal with the Lions. The ex-Jet CB will earn $2MM on his one-year pact, including a $1MM guarantee (Twitter link via Rich Cimini of ESPN.com). Before his release, he was set to earn $6MM from Gang Green.
  • Over the last couple of years, former Vikings head coach Brad Childress has popped in and out of retirement. But, this time around, the 63-year-old tells Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press that he’s retired for good. “People say, ‘Is he really retired? Is he really, really retired?’” Childress said. “Yeah. Last year was my last year. I just felt like it was time to move on. It’s about time. I put my toe in the water in retirement and pretty soon you’ve got to jump in. It’s more about spending time with my family and grandkids and that type of thing.”

Cowboys, Dontari Poe Discussing Deal

Dontari Poe may have a landing spot soon. The veteran defensive tackle is in discussions with the Cowboys on a deal, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets, adding that a contract could be finalized by the end of the day.

In their hunt for defensive tackle help, the Cowboys are also examining the likes of Ndamukong Suh, Damon Harrison and Mike Pennel, NFL.com’s Jane Slater adds (on Twitter). The Cowboys lost Maliek Collins in free agency last week but already made a deal to sign Gerald McCoy. A Poe addition would make this a high-profile interior line and make for an interesting reunion for players who spent last season on Carolina’s defensive front.

The Panthers did not pick up Poe’s 2020 option, sending him to free agency. This Cowboys are the first team to surface as interested in the former first-round pick. A Pro Bowler with the Chiefs back in the 2013-14 seasons, Poe played the past two seasons with the Panthers.

The mammoth nose tackle registered four sacks last season — his most since 2014 — but only played in 11 games. He is recovering from quadriceps surgery. Before 2019, however, Poe had never missed more than one game in a season. He’s been one of the league’s most durable defenders since coming into the league.

It appears the Cowboys are serious about upgrading inside. The McCoy deal and the Poe talks come a year after Dallas drafted Trysten Hill in the second round. Poe played five seasons with the Chiefs before catching on with the Falcons in 2017, and his Atlanta season resulted in a three-year Carolina deal worth nearly $30MM. It will not cost the Cowboys that much to bring in Poe.

Extra Points: Harrison, Hurts, Dunn, Texans

Damon Harrison got cut by the Lions, but he’s not quite ready to call it a career. ‘Snacks’, as he’s affectionately known, had publicly contemplated retirement back in December. He won’t be returning to Detroit but Harrison doesn’t want to hang up his cleats and wants to continue playing, a source told Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (Twitter link). Back in December Harrison revealed that injuries were taking their toll on him. “I got too much pride, man. I’ve been doing this too long. So if I can’t be the player that I’m used to being, I think my teammates deserve better, my family deserves better … I never cheated the game a day of my life, man,” an emotional Harrison said as he reportedly fought back tears.

“My mind’s still telling me I can do it,” he said, “but my body’s just not good.” Harrison is apparently feeling better now, and is ready to test the open market. His play fell off last year as he dealt with health issues, but just a couple years ago the defensive tackle was one of the best run stuffers in the league. 31 now, Harrison was a first-team All-Pro in 2016 with the Giants. He released a statement on Twitter thanking the Lions, and calling the split a mutual parting of ways. He won’t get a huge contract, but he’ll draw some interest in free agency.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Seemingly every year now there’s a minor controversy about a dual-threat quarterback being asked to work out at another position at the combine, and Oklahoma passer Jalen Hurts put that talk to rest early. The former Alabama quarterback and Heisman Trophy finalist won’t work out for teams at any position other than quarterback, D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes. A threat with his legs as well as his arm, Hurts has been working out in Atlanta in preparation for the combine. Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller had him as a late third-round pick in his recent mock draft.
  • Brandon Dunn got an extension from the Texans earlier this week, and now we have the details. It’s a three-year, $12MM deal with $4MM guaranteed, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). He got a $1.5MM signing bonus and a guaranteed $2.5MM salary for 2020, with the next two years of the deal being non-guaranteed. A former UDFA from Louisville who struggled for playing time his first couple of years in the league, the defensive tackle has now started at least six games for the Texans in each of the past three seasons.
  • In case you missed it, Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy turned down a chance to become Colorado’s new head coach.

Lions Release Damon Harrison

Snacks’ tenure in Detroit has come to an end. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) that the Lions are releasing defensive tackle Damon Harrison. The move will clear up more than $6MM in cap space.

The veteran was traded to Detroit midway through the 2018 season, and he actually became the first defensive lineman to appear in 17 games during an NFL regular season. He signed a one-year, $11MM extension with the organization last offseason, and the intent was that he’d remain in Detroit through the 2021 campaign.

Snacks finished the season having compiled 49 tackles and two sacks. However, the Lions disappointed, and the 31-year-old revealed after the season that he was considering retirement.

The 2012 undrafted free agent out of William Penn spent the first four seasons of his career with the Jets before inking a five-year deal with the Giants. He earned a first-team All-Pro nod in 2016.

The Lions defensive tackles corps could look a whole lot different next season. As ESPN’s Michael Rothstein tweetsA’Shawn Robinson and Mike Daniels could skip town, leading the reporter to wonder if Derrick Brown or Javon Kinlaw could make sense in the draft.

Extra Points: Brady, Dalton, Dolphins, Lions

Tom Brady news figures to be a rather common occurrence in this unusual offseason for the 20-year Patriots passer. Set for free agency for the first time, Brady is not expected to re-sign with the Patriots before free agency opens. The Chargers have surfaced again, with Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports noting that Brady will have the Bolts atop his list — if, in fact, he decides to leave New England. This is not the first Brady-Chargers link, but JLC adds that the 42-year-old quarterback would have a short list if he did legitimately decide to test free agency. The Chargers’ Los Angeles headquarters, which have not been especially beneficial to the franchise thus far, would appeal to Brady. The future Hall of Famer holds offseason workouts at USC and has previously lived in L.A. The Chargers are set to move into their new stadium, along with the Rams. Brady would certainly help on this front, with the team struggling to generate attention in its new market.

Here is the latest from around the league:

  • Andy Dalton and new Bears offensive coordinator Bill Lazor remain close, and JLC can envision this being a factor in how the quarterback dominoes fall during what could be a complex offseason at sports’ marquee position. Dalton “loved” playing for Lazor during his time as Bengals QBs coach and OC, per JLC. Although the Bears have committed to starting Mitchell Trubisky next season, he certainly has not lived up to his No. 2 overall draft slot and could be pushed like 2015 No. 2 pick Marcus Mariota was this season.
  • Patriots free agents Devin McCourty, Joe Thuney and Kyle Van Noy will likely have many suitors. One is expected to be the Dolphins, with Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writing that Brian Flores holds McCourty in high regard and that the team will pursue Thuney and Van Noy. All three are unrestricted free agents-to-be. Van Noy and McCourty played under Flores during his time as de facto Patriots defensive coordinator (2018), linebackers coach (2016-17) and safeties coach (2012-15). Van Noy and Thuney may price themselves out of New England.
  • Raekwon McMillan‘s 2019 season also helped sell the Dolphins on his long-term stock, Jackson adds. The Dolphins are interested in keeping the linebacker around long-term. McMillan rated as an upper-echelon linebacker, per Pro Football Focus, this season and became extension-eligible at season’s end. Under the Flores-Chris Grier setup, the Dolphins have already extended a few holdovers from the previous regime.
  • Damon Harrison revealed at the regular season’s end he is considering retirement, and the Lions are still waiting. They will likely not know Snacks’ plans for at least another few weeks, per the Detroit Free Press’ Dave Birkett. Thanks to the one-year add-on the Lions gave him in August, Harrison is under contract through 2021.
  • The Lions are expected to promote defensive assistant Steve Gregory to secondary coach, Birkett adds. The Lions hired Gregory, who played under Matt Patricia in New England, in 2018. Detroit fired DBs coach Brian Stewart after the season.

Lions’ Damon Harrison Contemplating Retirement

The Lions wrapped up their disappointing 2019 campaign Sunday, and it might’ve been the last ever game for one notable veteran. Speaking to reporters after their loss to Green Bay, Damon Harrison said he’s seriously considering retiring, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.

‘Snacks’ as the defensive tackle is affectionately known, said he’s been dealing with several injuries and might have to have surgery. “I got too much pride, man. I’ve been doing this too long. So if I can’t be the player that I’m used to being, I think my teammates deserve better, my family deserves better … I never cheated the game a day of my life, man,” an emotional Harrison said as he reportedly fought back tears.

“My mind’s still telling me I can do it,” he said, “but my body’s just not good.” Harrison had been with the Giants for the past few seasons before he was traded to Detroit last year. He played great after initially joining the Lions, and was one of the league’s better run stuffers for a while. A first-team All-Pro selection in 2016, his play had fallen off significantly this year as he battled injuries.

“But if I do walk away, I’m not ashamed,” he continued. “I don’t feel bad because I gave it everything I had, even when it wasn’t good enough.” Harrison is under contract for $8.5MM next season, but the Lions might not be inclined to bring him back at that price. The 31-year-old signed with the Jets as an undrafted free agent back in 2012, and if this is it for him, he carved out a heck of a career. 

North Notes: Hunt, Steelers, Lions, Packers

It turns out Kareem Hunt‘s suspension won’t be as significant as it originally seemed. The Browns’ running back is suspended for the first eight games of the season, but he would’ve missed the first handful of those games anyway. Hunt underwent sports hernia surgery on Thursday, according to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. The injury will likely sideline Hunt for the next 4-6 weeks, according to a tweet from Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

The Browns announced in a tweet of their own that a “full recovery is anticipated prior to his return to action in Week 10 of the regular season.” Hunt will be eligible to return from his suspension on November 10th against the Bills. Until then Cleveland’s backfield will still be in good hands, as they have Nick Chubb holding down the fort. Once Hunt returns, the Browns will have a potentially scary one-two punch. Hunt was one of the best running backs in the league before Kansas City cut him last year, scoring 14 touchdowns in just 11 games.

Here’s more from the league’s North divisions:

  • Ben Roethlisberger has a new backup. Second-year player Mason Rudolph has won the competition to be the Steelers’ backup in 2019, sources told Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Pittsburgh drafted Rudolph 76th overall last year, and he spent the 2018 season as the third-string passer behind Roethlisberger and Joshua Dobbs. During the preseason Rudolph impressed by completing 65 percent of his passes while throwing four touchdowns and only one interception, and some think he’s a potential heir to Roethlisberger. He hasn’t been cut yet, but it looks like this could be the end of the line for Dobbs, a 2017 fourth-rounder, in Pittsburgh.
  • The Lions gave defensive tackle Damon Harrison an extension last week, and now we have the full details, courtesy of Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. In addition to getting an extra year tacked onto his deal, Harrison also received a $2MM raise for the 2019 season. He also got a $7.5MM signing bonus. His contract now runs through the 2021 season, with an option on the final year that must be exercised by the final day of the 2020 league year.
  • Speaking of Lions contract details, punter Sam Martin had his deal reworked, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Martin had a non-guaranteed base salary of $2.4MM for 2019, which was bumped down to a guaranteed $1.7MM. Yates adds that 2020 is now a voidable year in his contract. Martin took a pay-cut for 2019, but he’ll now get the chance to reach free agency sooner and cash in as a result of the 2020 year becoming voidable when it was previously just non-guaranteed salary.
  •  The Packers have settled on their starting left guard. After a training camp battle between veteran Lane Taylor and rookie Elgton Jenkins, the team has opted to go with Taylor, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. “It’s going to be a competition throughout the season, but right now Lane Taylor is the starter,” head coach Matt LaFleur said. Taylor signed with Green Bay as an UDFA back in 2013 and has been with the team ever since. He’s started at least 14 games each of the past three seasons, although his play has been underwhelming at times. The Packers drafted Jenkins 44th overall out of Mississippi State back in April.