Longtime Denver Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr. has been one of the best cornerbacks in football since entering the league. The former undrafted free agent carved out a role as an elite slot cornerback and has the versatility to line up out wide and cover an opponents’ top receiver. Now a free agent, Harris should have plenty of suitors when he officially hits the open market.
Chris Harris Jr Free Agency Team Fits
The Philadelphia Eagles desperately need help in the secondary. Despite having one of the best front seven’s in the league, the Eagles simply could not stop anything through the air. Rasul Douglas, Avonte Maddox and company simply couldn’t hold up their end of the bargain as opposing quarterbacks torched Philadelphia’s secondary on a weekly basis. Adding a legitimate CB1 should go a long way in fixing what is otherwise a championship-caliber roster.
The Philadelphia Eagles enter the 2020 offseason with just over $42 million in available cap space, according to Spotrac. The Eagles have a decent amount of money to work with, but they still need to add some wide receivers and re-sign their core free agents. Spending up on a guy like Byron Jones probably wouldn’t be practical when the 31-year old Harris will probably come cheaper.
Kansas City Chiefs
The reigning Super Bowl champions put together a surprisingly solid defense during their Super Bowl run, but they could still improve on the back end. Charvarius Ward and Bashaud Breeland led all cornerbacks in total snaps, and neither player is anything close to a top-level starter. Combining Harris with Tyrann Mathieu should create one of the better secondaries in the league and should help a defense that might lose Chris Jones to the open market.
The biggest problem here is trying to find the money. Kansas City currently has just $16.5 million in cap space and will probably extend Patrick Mahomes before the start of the season. The Chiefs can clear some space by releasing Sammy Watkins, but it’s still going to be tough to fit too many additional big contracts under the salary cap.
It’s safe to say that Matt Patricia enters 2020 on the hot seat. The former New England Patriots defensive coordinator has struggled since leaving Bill Belichick’s shadow and desperately needs his team to show some signs of life next year. Patricia is an old-school type of coach who wants to run the ball and play good defense. He’s failed at both during his time in Detroit, as the Lions ended 2020 with the 28th-ranked defense by DVOA. Chris Harris alone might not be enough to save Patricia’s job, but the Lions need to do something to upgrade their secondary.
The Arizona Cardinals showed some intriguing potential during the first year of the Kliff Kingsbury Era, but they need to improve their defense. While the passing game made dramatic strides in 2019, the defense remained one of the worst in the league. Byron Murphy had a rough rookie campaign, and the Cardinals need to get somebody reliable to start opposite Patrick Peterson. If Murphy can put his ugly 2019 behind him, then Arizona can have one of the better secondaries in football. If he can’t, then adding Harris still gives Arizona a competitive secondary and an improved defense. The Cardinals should compete for a wild card spot in 2020 and should do everything possible to maximize Kyler Murray’s rookie contract.
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