The Las Vegas Raiders will probably be looking to shore up the safety position this offseason. Perhaps soon-to-be free agent Anthony Harris could be of help.
The Raiders definitely have some bright spots at safety, most notably last year’s first round pick, Johnathan Abram. However, the position still needs to be addressed and if general manager Mike Mayock doesn’t want to use draft capital then free agency can help.
With the Vikings, Harris is coming off his healthiest and best season statistically. In 14 starts last year, he notched six interceptions, 11 passes defensed, and 60 tackles. When targeted by opposing quarterbacks, Harris gave up a 65.2% completion percentage. Remarkably, he gave up zero touchdowns as an individual. The average passer rating against him was 44.2, and speaking of the passer, Harris was brought in 17 times to rush them in blitz packages. So basically the Raiders would be getting a solid safety who can cover but also be multidimensional in Paul Guenther’s scheme.
Sheil Kapadia of The Athletic recently wrote a prediction piece on where he thinks the top-tier free agents will land. For Las Vegas, he believes Harris will end up in Silver and Black in part because he would bring character and leadership, traits we know Mayock values.
“Oakland allowed explosive completions (20 yards or more) on 13.5% of opponents’ pass plays last year. That ranked 30th. Harris played well for the Vikings last year and would give the Raiders a high-character veteran to team with 2019 first-round pick Johnathan Abram at safety.”
Show Me The Money
Recently, Will Ragatz of Sports Illustrated wrote that evidence points to Harris not likely returning to Minnesota. After having successful campaigns in 2015 and 2017, the Vikings knew they couldn’t keep everyone. Being in a similar position in 2020, the Vikings could make Harris a cap casualty, which could lead him to possibly playing in Sin City.
Per Spotrac, Harris is predicted to have an annual salary of $13.8 million, so he won’t come cheap. As free agency quickly approaches, Mayock’s grand plan for the offseason will reveal itself and we’ll see how much he’s willing to invest in the defensive backfield.
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