New York Jets Rumors: David Harris Heading To South Beach?


New York Jets Rumors: Will David Harris Head South This Offseason?

With the New York Jets being under new management from the front office to the coaching staff, there is expected to be some roster upheaval. The new guys running the show will want to bring their own players in to bring a new aura to the franchise. That could mean plenty of players from the last regime could be looking for new places of employment this season. One of those players are linebacker David Harris; could he be moving on and leaving the Jets as a free agent this offseason?

Harris has been the heart and soul of the Jets defense for almost a decade now. He has recorded 100 or more tackles in five of eight seasons, one year coming up one short with 99. He has led the Jets in tackles for three seasons running, showing the type of consistency that teams can only hope to receive.

For the Jets, it would be a monumental loss, as they currently have no in-house option to replace Harris in the middle. Harris has been in the same spot since 2007 when the Jets drafted him in the second round out of Michigan. It also isn’t the strongest market for linebackers like Harris, so the Jets would be taking a big step backwards if they were to let him go. Options to potentially replace Harris if it came down to it are the recently released A.J. Hawk and Brandon Spikes.

The one thing working against Harris right now is his age, as he is now 31-years old. Playing the position he does at the level he has could take a toll on your body, but Harris has been stellar throughout his career. He has shown no signs of slowing down, which is part of the reason Harris will still have a big market with plenty of suitors.

Feb 18, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets coach Todd Bowles speaks to the media during the 2015 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

But if history repeats itself, that isn’t a big problem for new head coach Todd Bowles. Recently with the Arizona Cardinals, Bowles deployed Larry Foote in the middle of his defense, a guy that was even older than Harris at 34 years old. While age may be a factor, it should not outweigh what else Harris brings to the table.

According to the Miami Herald, one of the teams that are fully expected to pursue Harris are the Jets’ AFC Division rival Miami Dolphins. For the Dolphins Harris would fill in at middle linebacker, moving current middle linebacker Koa Misi back to outside linebacker. Harris has a connection to the Dolphins now as well, as new team president Mike Tannenbaum was part of the group that drafted Harris to the Jets back in 2007.

In addition to the Dolphins, Harris is expected to draw interest from the Buffalo Bills, where his former head coach Rex Ryan is now the head man, the Chicago Bears and Atlanta Falcons.

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While the Jets will undoubtedly have competition for Harris’ services, there is little reason he will not be back with Gang Green. Not only do the Jets have a need for him, they are also armed with a ton of money to spend in free agency. If they are having trouble finding enough for Harris, they can free up even more by releasing wide receiver Percy Harvin, whose contract is not guaranteed.

It would reflect very poorly on the new regime, especially after what the franchise and fans endured under John Idzik, to see a main cog of their team in Harris leave without a competitive offer being given.

Next: Who could be the Jets' QB in 2015?

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