Lions Signing Falcons Edge Rusher: Report

Charles Harris sack

Stacy Revere/Getty Images Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers is sacked by Charles Harris of the Atlanta Falcons on October 05, 2020.

Charles Harris had arguably the strongest season of his four-year NFL career last year. That doesn’t change the fact that his tenure with the Atlanta Falcons will soon officially be one-and-done, this according to Jeremy Fowler, senior NFL reporter for ESPN, who reports that the former first-round pick of the Miami Dolphins is signing a contract with the Detroit Lions.

The pass-rush challenged Lions need all the help they can get, as Detroit finished with just 24 total sacks last year, tied for sixth-fewest in the league and a far cry from the league-leading Pittsburgh Steelers, who generated 56, three more than the next-closest team, the Los Angeles Rams. Never mind that Harris has yet to come close to realizing his potential as a pass rusher. Assuming the dollars/term are modest, it’s a low-risk signing for the Lions.

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Charles Harris’ Stint With the Falcons

Last year, Harris had a career-high three sacks for the Falcons, while also contributing 18 tackles (eight solo), three tackles for loss, five quarterback hits and two passes defensed. Remarkably, that rivals the production he achieved in his rookie year (2017) with the Dolphins, when he played in all 16 games (two starts) and registered 19 total tackles, 12 quarterback hits and two sacks.

Of course, the fact that he was so underwhelming for the Dolphins is the reason the Falcons were able to trade for him, giving up a seventh-round selection that Miami will utilize in the 2021 Draft. The Missouri product was taken No. 22 overall in the 2017 Draft, and according to overthecap.com earned $1,943,724 with the Falcons last season. The terms of his new contract have not have been revealed.

Last season, Harris was in on 27% of Atlanta’s defensive snaps and 14% of its special teams snaps.

Meanwhile, Atlanta has taken the first steps towards re-populating its defense on its very tight budget, signing former Las Vegas Raiders safety Erik Harris to a contract. The Falcons also have reportedly scheduled a visit with ex-New England Patriots and New York Jets outside linebacker Brandon Copeland.

But there’s still much work to be done as Terry Fontenot & Co. attempt to replace Keanu Neal, fellow starting safety Damontae Kazee and veteran safety Ricardo Allen, who was released last month.


Top Safety Prospects in the 2021 Draft Class

As such, it’s likely that the Falcons will take a safety at some point in the 2021 Draft. On Wednesday, Matthew Tabeek, Digital Managing Editor of AtlantaFalcons.com, profiled the “top safety prospects who fit [the] Falcons.”

It’s a list that includes Trevon Moehrig (Texas Christian), who projects as a first-rounder, plus likely Day 2 selections Elijah Molden (Washington), Richie Grant (Central Florida) and Andre Cisco (Syracuse).

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