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David Harris: Stay or Go? Part 1: Introduction

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CHICAGO IL - DECEMBER 26: Matt Forte #22 of the Chicago Bears breaks away from David Harris #52 of the New York Jets at Soldier Field on December 26 2010 in Chicago Illinois. The Bears defeated the Jets 38-34. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO IL - DECEMBER 26: Matt Forte #22 of the Chicago Bears breaks away from David Harris #52 of the New York Jets at Soldier Field on December 26 2010 in Chicago Illinois. The Bears defeated the Jets 38-34. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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After trading up to land Darrelle Revis in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft, the New York Jets dealt three picks to Carolina to move up and grab University of Michigan linebacker David Harris with the 47th pick. It was clear the team saw something special in Harris because Gang Green appeared to be set at inside linebacker with Jonathan Vilma and Eric Barton.

Halfway through his rookie year, Harris got his chance to start when Vilma was lost for the season with a knee injury. He responded with 17 tackles in his first start, which was against the Bills. A week later, he compiled 24 against Washington. His strong play continued through the end of the year. The Jets traded Vilma that offseason, deeming Harris a better fit for Eric Mangini's 3-4. That whole episode is fodder for an entirely different discussion.

In his three years as a full time starter, Harris has led the Jets in tackles twice, including their third ranked run defense in 2010. Now he is a potential free agent.