However, the question remains whether or not the price tag will be too high to not only trade for Harris but also to ink him to a long-term deal.
The Vikings made the move to franchise tag Harris, who was set for a nice payday as a free agent. However, the move by Minnesota is to get something in return for Harris, who is a prime tag-and-trade target. The former undrafted free agent was tied for the NFL best with six interceptions last season. He added 60 tackles and 11 passes defended.
The Vikings reportedly want at least a third-round pick for Harris and it could take as high as a second, according to Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com.
The Browns have a pair of third-round picks and No. 41 overall pick in the second round. However, Cleveland would also have to compensate Harris with a deal that would make him more than a one-year rental.
Bears safety Eddie Jackson currently has the highest average annual salary among safeties at $14.6 million per year. Redskins safety Landon Collins signed a whopping six-year, $84 million deal last season.
“I love Anthony. If he doesn’t come back, I think he’s earned everything he’s got, but if you put up the positions most important on defense it’s probably not going to be safety,” Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said, via Andrew Krammer of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
Browns Have Nearly Empty Safety Room
The Browns released veteran Morgan Burnett earlier this week. He totaled 41 tackles, two sacks, one interception and two passes defensed before suffering a season-ending Achilles injury in Cleveland’s Week 11 win over the Steelers. The Browns also let Juston Burris and Eric Murray go in free agency. Burris signed with the Panthers, while Murray went to the Texans on a solid three-year deal.
Damarious Randall is another free agent that could sign elsewhere. He had a tough contract year with the Browns, missing multiple games with injuries — including a concussion he voiced his disagreement with — and was mysteriously sat by former head coach Freddie Kitchens. The Seahawks, Raiders and Redskins were all teams mentioned by ESPN’s Josina Anderson as having interest in Randall.
Second-year players Sheldrick Redwine and J.T. Hassell are the only safeties the Browns have locked up on the roster.
Browns Making a Splash via Free Agency, Trades
Browns’ new general manager Andrew Berry preached that the team would be aggressive in their quest to improve the roster, and he quickly made good on that promise.
The team signed tight end Austin Hooper and offensive tackle Jack Conklin on the first day of free agency, while also adding veteran QB Case Keenum to the quarterback depth chart to backup Baker Mayfield.
The Browns also pulled the trigger on a trade with the Denver Broncos for fullback Andy Janovich.