Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Is David Harris worth Jets' franchise tag?
By Tim Graham
Of all the New York Jets about to become free agents, the club deemed inside linebacker David Harris worthy of their franchise tag.
Does Harris truly deserve top-five money?
In an ESPN Insider column, Football Outsiders managing editor Bill Barnwell shines a spotlight on Harris and three others as the most "borderline" cases for the franchise tag.
Barnwell states a case why Michael Vick isn't worth the Philadelphia Eagles' tag despite being an MVP candidate for much of the season.
Harris, though, is a stud.
Harris has been integral to the Jets' defense. Barnwell proposes Harris might be the NFL's best run-stopping linebacker and illustrates that theory with an amazing stat.
The season before the Jets drafted Harris (second round out of Michigan in 2007), they ranked dead last in Football Outsiders' run defense metric. The Jets remained rock bottom in 2007 until Harris became a starter in Week 8. From that point on, they ranked eighth and haven't been lower than eighth in every season with Harris as the full-time starter.
Sounds to me like he's worth every penny.