Analyzing the Clay Harbor deal
In an offseason that saw a flurry of activity for Patriots tight ends -- between adding Martellus Bennett to the mix and Rob Gronkowski being up to his usual Gronk shenanigans -- the Pats added another name to the mix last week in career backup Clay Harbor.
As per ESPNBoston's Mike Reiss, the deal is two years with a maximum value of $4 million. He will make $900,000 in base salary this season, with a $400,000 signing bonus. It could also feature an additional $700,000 in incentives and roster bonuses.
The deal will count $1.287 million against the salary cap. Next year, the base salary will increase to $1.1 million, with an additional $900,000 up for grabs in incentives and roster bonuses.
A key selling point in Harbor is his versatility -- he's demonstrated before that he can effectively be used as a tight end and a fullback -- and the depth he can provide in an already-stacked tight end position. As per Reiss:
To me, it reflects how the Patriots had strong interest in Harbor and believe he can help them as a Swiss-army type option on offense ("move" tight end, fullback etc.). Another way to look at it is that the Patriots are only on the hook for the $400,000 signing bonus, which is just $50,000 less than what receiver Reggie Wayne received last year (he was released before the end of the preseason), so it doesn't necessarily make Harbor a lock for a roster spot.
The 28-year-old Harbor was a fourth-round draft pick of Philadelphia in 2010, and played there for three seasons before being cut in the 2013 preseason -- one of the first roster casualties of the Chip Kelly era. He was subsequently picked up on waivers by Jacksonville, where he spent the last three seasons. In 83 career games (and 35 starts), he has 111 catches, 1,151 yards and eight touchdowns to his credit.
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