This news is about a day old, but the site has been dead the last few days, so lets open this topic up to discussion:
Tommie Harris was one of the most disruptive defensive tackles in the NFL during his first five seasons with the Chicago Bears. Over the last two seasons, however, his production has dipped, forcing the Bears to move in another direction at the position. Rumors suggest the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts are looking to bring in Harris to filled a more limited role.
Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald provided an update last night:
As most football fans have come to understand, Bill Belichick usually gets what he wants. If Harris has an impressive showing at his workout this afternoon, it wouldn't be a surprise to see him sign a contract with the Patriots before the end of the day.
Harris is still pretty yong, 28, and made the pro-bowl 3 times in his 7 year stin with the Chicago Bears. Harris' best season was in 2007 when he racked up 8 sacks in 16 games with the bears and earned a lucrative contract extension the following off-season. Since then thogh, Harris has seen his production drop steadily.
The reasons behind the former all-pro lineman's struggles are a bit of a mystery. Some attribute it to a knee injury that has hampered Harris since 2007. But any time a player's output is so easily correlated to the signing of a massive, 40 million dollar contract. Effort comes into question.
Working out Harris is another indication that the patriots want to play more 4-3 then they have in the past. However, I wouldn't be surprised if a team like the colts (who have also brought in Harris), can offer him more money. Indianapolis can really use a big guy in the middle, and an offer him a shot at a starting job. Something that would be hard to come by on a patriots team that already boasts the likes of Vince Wilfork and Albert Haynesworth.
I think this is just Hoodie and company kicking the tires here, more than anything. If they patriots were really concerned about their depth at defensive tackle they would have hung on to Marcus Stroud. A player who's played his best years in a 4-3 defense.
The Patriots brought in Harris on August 1st, so if the signing is going to happen it will probably happen soon.
Update: Harris has signed with the Indianapolis Colts.