Packers Claim Former All-Pro DT Off Waivers from Seahawks

Snacks Packers Claim

Getty Devon Kennard #42 and Damon Harrison #98 of the Detroit Lions celebrate a third down stop during the fourth quarter of the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Ford Field on September 15, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. Detroit defeated Los Angeles 13-10.

The Green Bay Packers have claimed former All-Pro defensive tackle Damon “Snacks” Harrison off the waivers from the Seattle Seahawks, setting the stage for a big-time veteran presence to join their defensive front.

According to the NFL’s transaction report, the Packers were awarded Harrison on Wednesday afternoon, just two days after the Seahawks waived him at his own request. The Packers have not yet officially announced the move, but ESPN’s Josina Anderson had reported in early October the two sides were scheduled to meet (prior to him joining the Seahawks).

While there was some initial speculation about whether Harrison would even report to Green Bay — he had previously tweeted he was “not doing the waiver thing” — the 32-year-old veteran also seemed to confirm the Packers were among the teams that knew he would play for them if claimed.

Harrison has started 111 career games and tallied 494 total tackles at defensive tackle over his nine NFL seasons, reaching All-Pro status during his 2016 season with the New York Giants. He has also held starting roles with the New York Jets (2012-15) and the Detroit Lions (2018-19), staying disruptive at the line of scrimmage at every stop.

Harrison averaged 23 defensive snaps over six games for Seattle as a backup defensive tackle, logging nine tackles and a forced fumble, but parted on mutual terms with the Seahawks as they looked to develop younger talent for the future.

As Harrison tweeted on Monday afternoon following his release: “Before I sit around and try to take snaps from a young guy who deserves to be out there playing I’d rather leave. There’s a lot of snakes in the NFL but I’m not one of them…”

The Packers will need to cut someone from either their 53-man roster or practice squad in order to clear space for Harrison to join the team.

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Kenny Clark Ready for Snacks Team-Up

There is still a hurdle or two for Harrison to clear before officially joining the Packers, such as COVID-19 testing procedures, but that hasn’t kept some of his new teammates from celebrating his arrival in Green Bay — notably star nose tackle Kenny Clark.

Clark, who signed a four-year, $70 million extension in August, has been an effective centerpiece for the Packers’ defensive line, but finding reliable help to surround him has been challenging over the past two seasons. While Kingsley Keke is finding his step in his second year and looking promising, Dean Lowry and Tyler Lancaster have struggled to consistently hold up their end throughout the year.

The Packers also currently have Montravius Adams, a 2017 third-round pick, and veteran backup Billy Winn on injured reserve with serious doubts that either of them will be able to return for their upcoming postseason run. At the very least, Harrison provides some of the most quality — and affordable — depth the Packers can find this late in December.

Who Will Packers Cut From 53-Man Roster?

The Packers might be tempted to stash Harrison on the practice squad if he had been lingering on the market for some time (and, therefore, needing a little practice time to get adjusted again), but chances are good they will find a spot for him on the active roster ahead of Sunday’s season finale against the Chicago Bears.

In that case, though, who will get the boot?

The Packers do have a fifth available defensive lineman, Anthony Rush, who was claimed off the waivers from the Bears in November but hasn’t contributed much in the time since. A simple swap-out on the defensive line could be the answer if the Packers don’t feel Rush is bringing them enough in the rotation; however, if depth worries them at the position, then maybe cutting from another spot will be more appealing.

Cornerback Ka’dar Hollman could be an option (with intentions to re-sign for the practice squad) as he played just three defensive snaps against the Titans, but fellow corner Josh Jackson, linebackers Ty Summers and Oren Burks and safety Henry Black all played about the same. The Packers also have six rostered wide receivers.

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