David Harris may have been cut from the Jets on Tuesday, but does he have to look far (New York Giants) for a new job?In a move that surprised many, the New York Jets decided to cut their ties with veteran linebacker David Harris.
On one hand, it was a logical move, as the organization is well on its way towards a full-scale rebuild. It would’ve been a disservice to award Harris playing time over young players and it’s also likely the 33-year-old doesn’t want to spend his time on a year that is expected to turn into a very high draft pick.
But at the same time, Harris was a consistent force in the middle of the Jets’ defense that was considered one of the best in the NFL during his heyday. He was always in the lineup, as evidenced by missing just six games in 10 years. The Michigan native was also one of the most productive players on the field, as he eclipsed the 100-tackle mark on six different occasions, en route to becoming the second leading tackler in team history.
Harris’ void won’t only be missed on the field. He wasn’t only the leader of the defense, he was the leader of the team. And with a roster full of young talent, it’ll be tough without him.
Harris is now looking for work. As a talent with his best years behind him, it’s clear that he will be prioritizing winning over everything else when choosing his next destination.
And he may not have to look far to find his new home.
The New York Giants may share a city and a stadium with the Jets but that’s where the similarities end. Heading into 2017, the organization has done their best to surround Eli Manning with elite talent on both sides of the ball, and many experts consider the Giants Super Bowl contenders.
Look up and down their roster — there are barely any holes to be filled. (outside of the dreaded offensive line, of course.) But when you nitpick the defense, a case could be made that the linebacker corps could use an upgrade.[graphiq id=”76c11dM5vb7″ title=”New York Giants Defensive Highlights in 2016″ width=”640″ height=”645″ url=”https://sw.graphiq.com/w/76c11dM5vb7″ frozen=”true”]
Last season, defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo used a committee of players — Jonathan Casillas, Devon Kennard, Keenan Robinson, Kelvin Sheppard, and B.J. Goodson — in different situations. While many were concerned at the lack of talent at the position, Spagnuolo’s mixing and matching was a positive as the Giants allowed second-fewest points per game.
Thus far, it looks like Jerry Reese is comfortable with replicating last year’s approach. The Giants have been high on Goodson and expect him to take over the starting middle linebacker position while Robinson comes in on passing downs.
But for a team that’s expected to compete for a championship next season, it may be wise to invest in a vocal and productive leader on a short-term deal.
Harris fits the bill to a tee.
He can come in and immediately give the Giants their best MLB since Antonio Pierce was manning the position nearly a decade ago. He would upgrade all facets of the defense. He would be a positive influence in the locker room and could help groom Goodson for future success. Most importantly, Harris wouldn’t have to uproot his family, something that is important to an athlete that’s at the end of his career.
It remains to be seen if the Giants will have any interest in the former Jet. But if they can snag him on a reasonably priced, short-term contract, would it shock anyone if Harris follows the footsteps of Kareem McKenzie, Damon Harrison, and Brandon Marshall?
Would it shock anyone if he goes from Gang Green to Big Blue?