David Harris is back in the AFC East, only this time he is a member of the New England Patriots. The former New York Jets linebacker agreed to a two-year deal with the Patriots, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Earlier this month, the Jets unceremoniously released Harris after 10 seasons. The team spent a second-round pick on Harris in 2007, and he’s only missed six games in his career. He was entering the last year of his three-year, $21.5 million deal he inked in 2015. New York saved $6.5 million in cap space by cutting ties with him.
Now, the Jets will see Harris twice a year in a Patriots uniform. New England has made it a habit of snagging free agent players from rival squads. This offseason, the Patriots signed Buffalo Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore in March to a five-year deal. They followed that up by inking Bills running back Mike Gillislee to a two-year deal in April.
Last year, New England signed then-Bills receiver Chris Hogan, who finished 2016 with 38 receptions for 680 yards and four touchdowns.
New England does a great job of bringing in players who fit its system. Harris is just the latest big-name acquisition the Patriots have made this year:
Patriots veteran additions: Brandin Cooks, Stephon Gilmore, Kony Ealy, Mike Gillislee, Rex Burkhead, David Harris, Dwayne Allen.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) June 21, 2017
Harris not only brings experience to the Patriots, but he has been productive over his 10-year career, racking up 1,087 tackles, 10 forced fumbles, and six interceptions in that time span. In fact, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has been a longtime fan of Harris.
Here's Belichick a few years ago on David Harris pic.twitter.com/hTHvbqj9Eq— Mark Daniels (@MarkDanielsPJ) June 21, 2017
Harris will join a linebacking corps that includes Dont'a Hightower and Kyle Van Noy. The Patriots and Hightower, who went to his first Pro Bowl in 2016, agreed on a four-year, $35.5 million deal this offseason. New England traded for Van Noy last October. He finished last season with 52 tackles, a forced fumble, and an interception.
The Patriots are reigning Super Bowl champions, and with these offseason additions, it’s clear they have their sights set on a sixth Lombardi Trophy. The rich just keep getting richer.