Here’s a Theory on Harrison Smith’s Next NFL Team

Another Stunning
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Almost lost in the early shuffle of the Minnesota Vikings’ offseason is Harrison Smith’s future with the club.

Minnesota has major and foremost decisions ahead on quarterback Kirk Cousins and outside linebacker Danielle Hunter. Both men could walk to free agency, re-sign in purple, or one could return while the other tests the open market.

Here’s a Theory on Harrison Smith’s Next NFL Team

But former Vikings linebacker Ben Leber made sure to mention Smith’s future last week. The longtime Viking has a $19.2 million cap number in 2024, practically guaranteed to be modified if he plans on staying in Minnesota. Smith accepted a paycut last year to stay with the Vikings, and some believe he’ll follow suit this offseason.

Theory on Harrison
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Smith, who turned 35 earlier this month, could also retire.

But if he does not hang up the cleats, Leber recently mentioned a free-agent destination for the beloved Viking: the Dallas Cowboys.

Mike Zimmer Press Conference | Dallas Cowboys 2024. Zimmer took over as the Dallas Cowboys’ defensive coordinator in February 2024 when Dan Quinn accepted a head coaching job with the Washington Commanders. Zimmer coached the Vikings from 2014 to 2021.

Dallas recently hired Mike Zimmer, Minnesota’s head coach from 2014 to 2021, and Leber thinks a Zimmer-Smith reunion could check some boxes. Although the Cowboys haven’t reached beyond the NFC’s Divisional Round in 28 years, some believe they’ll remain Super Bowl contenders in 2024 and beyond.

Leber tweeted last week, “Lots of attention on Kirk and JJ but don’t forget about Hitman. Lots of speculation on his future with Vikes. If not the Vikes, makes sense that he’ll make that Cowboys defense even better.”

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And, not for nothing, Leber is probably correct. If the Vikings cut ties with Smith, fling the Cowboys to the top of your list of possible Smith destinations. Conventional logic suggests he’ll likely seek a Super Bowl contender, and the Cowboys, according to some folks’ opinions, can be classified as precisely that.

Smith addressed retirement in January, right after the Vikings’ season formally ended. “Whenever I retire, I’m not going to tell you. You’ll figure it out. I’ll say this: It’s hard to have the ability to play and not have a desire to play. Whatever that gives you, I’m not trying to be ominous or anything. Right now my shoulder hurts,” Smith told reporters.

In 12 seasons, Smith has tabulated six Pro Bowl and two All-Pro nods.

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Smith added about his future, “I’ve been at peace for a while. When I was a kid, I never thought I’d play in the NFL. To have a career I’ve had to this point, it’s pretty cool. Got to play with a lot of great people, a lot of great players and coaches. Lot of struggle, a lot of ups and downs. It’s kind of what makes it so fun, too. Sorry I don’t have anymore info.”

Since joining the NFL in 2012, Smith ranks first among all defensive backs in tackles, first in QB hits, first in interceptions, second in sacks, and second in tackles for loss.

Releasing Smith would save the Vikings $15.3 million if the measure were marked with a post-June 1st designation.

And if that occurs, the Cowboys are apparently the team to watch in landing his services.

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 Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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