Should Eagles Consider Adding Free Agent Al Harris?

Written By Bob Cunningham On Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Al Harris could be a great addition to a young defense.

From 1998 to 2002, Al Harris played corner for the Philadelphia Eagles. Before the 2003 season, he was traded to the Green Bay Packers and went on to be a starter there until this season when injuries and the strong play of rookie Sam Shields made him expendable.

Harris was placed on waivers a few days ago and, after not being claimed by any of the 31 other teams, is now an unrestricted free agent. He has history in Philadelphia, the Eagles are in need of some depth at corner, and Harris has shown Pro Bowl ability.

But, at almost 36 years old coming off an injury, should the Eagles even consider adding Harris?

Well, that would clearly depend on a couple different things. For starters, exactly how long is it going to take for Ellis Hobbs to get back to action? He was said to be seeking a second opinion on a hip injury that kept him out of the Eagles' win over the Colts this past Sunday, and could possibly miss more time than originally thought.

And secondly, how much would it cost to bring him in? Harris was slated to make $2.5 million this year, but unless he's willing to take much, much less than that he won't be an Eagle any time soon. My guess is the team wouldn't be willing to do anything more than the minimum with some playing time and performance escalators.

According to head coach Andy Reid, he and general manager Howie Roseman have discussed bringing Harris in, but didn't elaborate on how serious those talks have been.

"We actually talked about Al a little bit," Reid said Monday. "I don't know where Al is, necessarily physically, he's close to 36 years old and coming off of an injury similar to [Eagles fullback Leonard] Weaver's if you take out the bit of nerve damage [Weaver] had there. So it's a pretty significant injury he's coming off of and I'd just have to look at that a little bit more."

If I were in their shoes, I would definitely bring him in. Harris not only brings a wealth of talent and experience, but might be that veteran presence the team needs to play more disciplined.

Harris was known as a guy who would draw a lot of flags for his rough play during his time in Philadelphia, and carries an attitude with him that a lot of the young guys would be forced to respect. Juqua Parker is currently the most seasoned vet on the defense, but he's more of a soft-spoken lunch pale type of guy.

So if the price is right, Harris is definitely a guy who should be an Eagle again. Reid has done it with guys like Jeremiah Trotter and Hugh Douglas with relative success, so why not give Harris the same do-over?

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