For just the third time in franchise history, the Minnesota Vikings are, reportedly, going to be placing the Franchise Player tag on a member of the team.
Per Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Vikings will be placing the Franchise tag on safety Anthony Harris just ahead of today’s 11:00 AM Central deadline for doing so.
Harris signed with the Vikings in 2015 as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Virginia. He worked his way up from the practice squad, and completed his first year as a starter in 2019. He tied for the NFL lead in interceptions, collecting six in the regular season and one in the playoffs. Together with Harrison Smith, they form what is probably the NFL’s best safety duo, and they’re going to be together again in 2020.
The franchise tag figure for safeties is, reportedly, in the neighborhood of $11.4 million, which is apparently lower than expected.
Again, this is just the third time that the Vikings have used the franchise tag since its inception in 1993. They placed the tag on tight end Jim Kleinsasser in 2003 and kept him in the fold with a salary of a whopping. . .$3 million.
The Vikings also used the franchise tag in 2011, placing it on Chad Greenway. That year, they faced the prospect of Greenway, defensive end Ray Edwards, and wide receiver Sidney Rice all hitting free agency at the same time, and elected to keep Greenway over the other two players. Seems pretty clear they made the right decision.
Harris would have been the best available safety on the free agent market this offseason, but now he won’t be hitting the market at all.