Could David Harris have been a Patriot?

(Staten Island Advance/Rich Kane)
The New York Jets were able to re-sign their starting middle linebacker David Harris to a three-year, $21.5 million dollar deal, with the first two years fully guaranteed. While the biggest rumor was that the Buffalo Bills were interested in reuniting Harris with his former coach Rex Ryan, there were also rumors that the Patriots were interested in him.

Why would the Patriots, with Collins, Hightower, and Mayo, be interested in another linebacker? Because he has been one of the consistent linebackers in the game. He hasn't missed a game since 2008, has averaged over 110 tackles per year over his career, and also has 30 career sacks. He would also have fit as a solid middle linebacker, which the Patriots don't have depth at besides Mayo. At times last year the Patriots implemented more of a 4-2 defense with only Collins and Hightower as true linebackers. Harris' veteran leadership would have also come as a benefit if the Patriots end up not being able to reach deals with McCourty and/or Wilfork.

In reality, the Patriots would not have offered Harris the type of money the Jets did. A depth/rotational linebacker is not worth $7.5 million a year, especially with the situations they currently have. While it would have been a nice boon to the defense, the 31 year old linebacker was never a realistic target if the Jets had that number in their head all along.

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