Adam Schefter of ESPN reported earlier today that the New York Jets have in fact made the decision to designate LB David Harris with the teams franchise tag.
Harris was considered to be one of the Jets “core four” who were all in line to get longterm deals from the Jets but Darrell Revis, Nick Mangold and D’Brickashaw Ferguson all got new deals while Harris didn’t.
It will be interesting to see how the Jets handle Harris in the years to come because they have a number of key players that will need to be addressed during the offseason which may not leave enough financial room to keep Harris next year.
Two things to consider: first, good linebackers are hard to come by but can be replaced much faster than a top-corner or a great defensive tackle and second, the Jets strength as team has a lot to do with their roster depth. This season they had three good wide receivers, a solid o-line, Shaun Greene as their No. 2 running back, two good linebackers and cornerback tandem that consisted of Revis and Cromartie. Maintaining their depth is the best way to ensure that they can compete every single year so throwing money at every free agent-to-be limits the amount of options that they’ll have at other positions.