The 2020 NFL offseason has been something however cozy for Minnesota Vikings followers. Not solely did the franchise should half methods with seven starters who had develop into common family names — together with Stefon Diggs — within the Mike Zimmer period, however now the safety at operating again can also be in jeopardy.
Normal Supervisor Rick Spielman will doubtless should proceed to piece collectively a crew that’s been hamstrung by its veteran contracts and minimal wage cap house — which isn’t a nasty factor. The Vikings have the items to win within the subsequent few years and retaining one explicit participant subsequent offseason will probably be important to retaining these probabilities alive.
Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox listed a participant from all 32 NFL franchises whose groups “can’t afford to lose” them within the 2021 offseason. Security Anthony Harris was Knox’s alternative for the Vikings. Harris signed a one-year franchise tender and will probably be an unrestricted free agent subsequent season.
Right here’s his case extending Harris’ contract:
Initially signed as an undrafted free agent out of Virginia in 2015, Harris has labored his means into the beginning lineup and has develop into one of many prime safeties within the NFL. Although he has by no means made the Professional Bowl, he did lead the NFL in interceptions this previous season, snagging six of them to go along with 60 tackles and 11 passes defended.
Holding the 29-year-old security within the fold will probably be vital as Minnesota is within the technique of revamping its secondary. Cornerbacks Mackensie Alexander, Trae Waynes and Xavier Rhodes all departed this offseason.
The Vikings can not let Harris do the identical subsequent offseason.
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A Fixture within the Vikings Secondary
After the exodus of all three beginning cornerbacks from final season, Zimmer is beginning contemporary with a younger group that’ll want to come back alongside shortly. Harris and fellow beginning security Harrison Smith give the Vikings secondary a fixture to construct round within the upcoming years.
The duo has constantly been ranked as the highest security tandem within the NFL and offers the protection veteran expertise and flexibility. Harris, the ball-hawking free security provides top-of-the-line protection presences within the NFL, whereas Smith has remained top-of-the-line field safeties in disrupting opposing offenses. Smith is signed by way of 2021 and can doubtless renew his contract and retire with the Vikings — which means securing Harris long-term may result in a promising future for the Vikings protection.
Harris is unlikely to obtain a brand new cope with the Vikings needing to pay operating again Dalvin Cook dinner this offseason. Harris will make $11.four million this yr on his franchise tag, which means he’ll doubtless expect an identical annual wage in future negotiations.
The excellent news is apart from Harris and Cook dinner, the Vikings don’t have many imperatives participant contracts expiring in 2021 because the crew can assess its future with a clearer view after maneuvering by way of many modifications this offseason.
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