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Grantland Rates Harris Among 10 Worst Free Agent Contracts

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Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Barnwell of Grantland took a look at what he considers the worst contracts handed out in free agency this year. While Barnwell saves his deepest criticism for three Giants contracts, 

one Jets deal did make the cut.

David Harris Stays With the Jets

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.