Anthony Harris Finds Home in AFC

Anthony Harris Tries the AFC for First Time
Dec 15, 2019; Carson, CA, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive back Anthony Harris. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports.

Anthony Harris spent six seasons with the Minnesota Vikings before trekking to the Philadelphia Eagles in 2021.

But that experiment didn’t last long as Harris was ultimately released before the 2022 regular season began. And on Wednesday, Harris signed with the Denver Broncos, a team generally managed by former Vikings lieutenant George Paton.

Harris, who has played 95 games in the NFL while starting 61, will curiously be a part of the Broncos practice squad, at least for now. Incumbent Broncos safety and Pro Bowler Justin Simmons hit the injured reserve this week, paving the way for Harris’ addition.

The Vikings found Harris as an undrafted free agent in 2016, and the defender used a few development years in Mike Zimmer’s defense to claw his way to mini-stardom. In 2019, Harris led the NFL in interceptions and was considered by many a Pro Bowl snub. Minnesota retained Harris on the franchise tag in 2020, but his production dipped. He was not a priority to re-sign in 2021 amid a crunched Vikings salary cap.

Former Standout Viking Suddenly Available as Free Agent
Dec 15, 2019; Carson, CA, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive back Anthony Harris. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports.

In August, the Eagles traded for Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, a safety from the New Orleans Saints who effectively took Harris’ starting job. The Garnder-Johnson trade made Harris expendable, sending the Virginia alumnus to the free agent wire.

In 2021, Harris started 14 games for the Eagles, tallying a 61.6 grade from Pro Football Focus. It was a stark departure from his herculean 90.5 score in 2019 but certainly not bad. Therefore, Harris was bound to sign on somewhere before too long, and it was Denver who came knocking.

The Broncos employ veteran Kareem Jackson and second-year defender Caden Sterns at safety, so we shall see if Harris gets any tread in Denver’s defense with a practice-squad call-up.

Former Vikings Mike Boone and Tom Compton also play for the Broncos, although Compton is on injured reserve.

Denver embarrassingly lost to the Seattle Seahawks in Week 1 during Russell Wilson’s first game outside of a Seahawks uniform.


Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).



Share: