Thursday, February 24, 2011
David Harris takes franchise deal with Jets
By Tim Graham
INDIANAPOLIS -- New York Jets linebacker David Harris has signed his franchise tender, accepting a one-year guaranteed contract at an average salary of the five highest-paid players at his position. For linebackers, the figure is projected to be more than $10 million.
The question is whether or not franchise tags are valid.
The NFL believes they are. The NFL Players Association contends clubs lost the ability to use franchise tags on unrestricted free agents because there's no collective bargaining agreement for 2011.
Harris and two other players -- Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley and Carolina Panthers center Ryan Kalil -- have chosen to execute their franchise offers. A judge might have to sort them out down the road.
Harris is the lone free-agent maneuver Jets fans should expect until a new CBA gets negotiated.
The Jets almost certainly will avoid re-signing any of their free agents, including receivers Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes and Brad Smith and cornerback Antonio Cromartie, or adding any unattached veterans before they know what the league's personnel parameters will be moving forward.