one Jets deal did make the cut.
Contract: Three years, $21.5 million, $15 million guaranteed
At his best, Harris was a dominant gap-plugging inside linebacker who was just on the edge of being good enough against the run to justify Pro Bowl consideration. He slipped a bit during the slow burn of the Rex Ryan embers, but Harris remains effective enough against the run to justify an existence as a three-down linebacker. At 31, you would expect him to be on the downside of his career, but it still seemed logical for the post–Kiko Alonso Bills to target Harris as a Ryan acolyte in free agency.
The Jets ensured that wouldn’t happen by massively overpaying to keep Harris in town. Harris’s three-year deal pays out $15 million in guaranteed money over the next two seasons, a deal that stands out as an outlier among similar players. Harris comes away with the fourth-largest guarantee for an inside linebacker, and no veteran with a contract as big as Harris’s has a larger percentage of his money guaranteed. And this comes for a guy who was declining!
I cannot argue with this one. A few Jets contracts in the past two weeks made me raise my eyebrow, but I can rationalize the others based on potential and/or the idea the player might thrive in Todd Bowles' system if used correctly.
I think the Jets paid premium dollars for a replaceable part.