One of the larger narratives this off-season, along with the Dalvin Cook extension and nothing (thanks, COVID), was the Anthony Harris franchise tag situation. After one of the best breakout seasons by a Vikings player perhaps ever, Harris was set to hit free agency and command as big of a payday as any young, up-and-coming safety could.
Then the Vikings franchised him.
While it took awhile for Harris to sign the franchise tag, he eventually did and thats the end of that story. Right?
Well, kind of.
According to NFL Insider Mike Garafolo, the New York Giants kicked the tires on a trade for Harris between the time the Vikings had franchised Harris and the start of the Draft.
Interesting note on Harris: The #Giants and #Vikings had talks about a possible trade after Harris was tagged, sources told me and these two cats below. The Vikings valued Harris and didn’t tag him just to give him away so the deal didn’t materialize. https://t.co/5gPyRBjIiw
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) July 15, 2020
The Giants selected Alabama safety Xavier McKinney in the draft, nullifying any need for Harris’ services (and contract extension). The Vikings, or I mean Garofolo, said that the Vikings didn’t franchise tag Harris just to trade him (or rather, “just to give him away”), so the deal died.
You often hear teams deny failed trades as to attempt to make walking by the player of note in the hallways less awkward, and this very well could be one of those times. There were a lot of rumors about the Vikings looking to trade Harris back earlier this off-season, so this more sounds like both sides couldn’t agree on compensation.
Because the Giants used a second round pick on a safety, which shows they clearly were looking to improve at the position this off-season. Also, the Vikings took a decent amount of time to franchise Harris, which lends itself to the theory that they were entertaining offers.
Keep in mind that this was happening as the Vikings were shedding as many players (and cap space) as those of us that thought the 2017-19 Vikings roster had one more push left in them were shedding tears at the time.
Luckily, though, the Vikings retained Harris as he is one of the brightest young stars on their roster and was almost solely responsible for the defenses interceptions in 2019. I personally a lot better about this rebuild wit Harris on the roster than I would’ve felt otherwise (losing both starting corners as well as the nickel corner was enough blood letting for the secondary, I reckon)).
Especially considering that NFL trades are trash and the Vikings would’ve maybe received a third-round pick and a jugs machine for, again, one of the biggest breakout stars in recent team history.
What do you think? Should they have traded Harris? Should I stop crying about football and get a life? Let us know below!