Eagles Miss Out on Pro Bowl CB in Free Agency: Report

Chris Harris Jr.

Getty Chris Harris Jr.

It looked like the Eagles had finally consummated the marriage with their constant flirtation. Chris Harris Jr. was about to join the nest.

Wait, not so fast. Apparently, the Los Angeles Chargers swooped in at the last minute to grab him. That or the Eagles were unwilling to meet Harris’ asking price. Either way, Harris isn’t coming to Philadelphia. ESPN’s Josina Anderson reported the heart-breaking news first. Financials of the deal weren’t disclosed.

Philadelphia had reportedly made a “late push” to land Harris, per Denver7’s Troy Renck. It was a three-team race down the stretch for Chris Harris’ services as the Eagles, Chargers and New Orleans Saints had all showed interest in signing the former Broncos cornerback. Obviously, the Chargers came in with the best offer.

Harris’ Credentials Reviewed, Best Slot Corner in Football

Perhaps it was best the Eagles lost out in the Chris Harris sweepstakes. It was going to be a lot of money to dole out on a guy thought to be better suited in the slot than on the outside.

Harris would have been expected to line up as the team’s starting cornerback on the outside right away, opposite either Avonte Maddox, Rasul Douglas or Sidney Jones. Maddox seems like the front-runner to win the job with Jalen Mills transitioning to safety and Ronald Darby leaving in free agency.

Harris, who has been one of the best cover guys in football since 2014, has qualified for four Pro Bowls while racking up 20 interceptions and 86 passes defensed in nine NFL seasons, all spent in Denver. He will turn 31 on June 18 and there are some concerns about his ability to man the outside on a consistent basis.

Prior to 2019, he primarily played as the nickel backer and earned a reputation as the best slot corner in football. Harris switched to the outside last year where he graded out a career-worst 66.8 in coverage, per Pro Football Focus.

But Harris’ preference has always been to line up on the outside, not in the slot. He’ll get plenty of those chances for a Chargers secondary that surrendered 21 touchdowns against 11 picks.

“I like being on the outside because that’s where I can get more picks,” Harris told 9NEWS in Denver back in 2018. “I can read the quarterback more, I can use my coverage skills a lot more. I just think I can make more plays. In the slot, I’m always with my back to the quarterback, I’m man to man most of the time, I can’t see where the ball’s going.”

Harris Spurned Raiders, Eagles, Saints

It was a three-team race down the stretch for Chris Harris’ services as the Chargers held off late pushes from the Philadelphia Eagles and New Orleans Saints to sign the former Broncos cornerback. Harris has been one of the most consistently stellar players at the position for a long time.

According to the Houston Chronicle‘s Aaron Wilson, the market just wasn’t what Harris thought it would be. The Las Vegas Raiders had offered him a two-year contract but the cornerback turned it down to seek greener pastures. Instead, the Raiders opted to sign Eli Apple while the Eagles stood pat.

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