The Las Vegas Raiders need to revamp the safety position after a dismal display of pass defense last season, enter Anthony Harris.
The Raiders’ inherent issue when trying to pick up one of the prized safety free agents will be the money. Whether it’s Harris, Justin Simmons, or John Johnson, they will need to take out their wallet. Luckily, this Las Vegas team is trying their best to give themselves some financial flexibility by cutting ties with Tyrell Williams and Lamarcus Joyner with other cuts possibly coming.
Assuming the Minnesota Vikings decide not to retain Harris, the Raiders can come in and nab him. With Gus Bradley coming in, retooling the safety position should be of the utmost priority. While many aren’t high on Johnathan Abram’s play in pass protection, he’ll be a starter in 2021 unless something dramatic happens. So this means the team will need a safety opposite of him and Harris checks out several boxes.
Would Harris be worth it for the Raiders?
Money aside, Harris would be worth it due to his abilities such as defending the run, Pro Football Focus gave him a 69.7 in that department. A high-character veteran, Harris impressed in pass defense as well. He was targeted 36 times in coverage last season, giving up 21 completions though he did surrender four touchdowns individually.
Another bonus is that Harris can shift all over the backfield at both safety spots though his strongest performances have been as a free safety. For example, Harris accumulated seven passes defensed last year and 11 the previous season. He also had an eye-popping six interceptions during that 2019 campaign. Harris was also brought in on 35 blitzes in Mike Zimmer’s defense these past two seasons. If the Raiders want leadership, versatility, and overall solid play, Harris is their guy.
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*Top Photo: AP Photo/Al Goldis