The Detroit Lions are letting things play out slowly this offseason, but the one early theme that has developed is how committed the team is to rebuilding their woeful defense.
Once again, the Lions reportedly took another step toward doing that with a move in free agency. According to a report, the team has reached an agreement with defensive end and edge player Charles Harris, formally of the Miami Dolphins and Atlanta Falcons.
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News of the signing was first revealed by ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, who broke the story that Harris would be heading to the Lions for the 2021 season. No contract details were available just yet.
Another report from Justin Rogers of the Detroit News, however, couldn’t confirm the signing at this point, so things remain up in the air as they often do this time of year.
Harris would come to the Lions a bit maligned given what he hasn’t been able to do in his career to this point, but it could be a good buy-low move to get him in the mix for 2021 and see what he’s got.
Charles Harris Stats and Highlights
Harris was a former first-round pick out of Missouri back in 2017, and while he might not have lived up to the grade with the Dolphins, it’s clear he does offer some upside in the trenches. Harris has 6.5 career sacks, but 3 of those came when he was playing with the Falcons during the 2020 season. Harris also has 79 tackles, 4 passes defended and 1 fumble recovery in his career.
Harris has yet to show signs of being a consistently elite pass rusher in the NFL, but he could offer the Lions some help off the edge given the major need Detroit has at the spot. The Lions are looking to re-make a defense which does not get after the quarterback, so adding Harris and his ability to pressure would be considered a win. The 2021 draft is thin on edge prospects, so Harris offers a young player with some upside that might be able to turn his career around given a change of scenery.
Watching the highlights, Harris is a talented player.
The hope for Lions fans if Harris is signed? Get back to the kind of play he showed in college which made him a star.
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Lions Have Major Defensive Needs This Offseason
The Lions have needs not only in the trenches but on the back end of their defense as well. Detroit could use a safety like Johnson, but could also look to add a cornerback to the mix as well to help out their young players in finding a footing. Aside from Williams, the team could also look to make more additions at linebacker and along the defensive line, although bringing back Romeo Okwara was a great start for Detroit as it relates to that up front. Getting Michael Brockers in the mix will help the Lions to fortify their line in a big way, too.
With young players like Jeff Okudah and Amani Oruwariye at cornerback, the depth is a concern after some cuts recently, but adding a player there could help as well. Rushing the passer will help any backfield, and the hope is Harris can help the team do it much better this season should the team add him to the mix.