Former Jets linebacker David Harris’ agents came out swinging at the team today following the veteran’s release.
The scathing nature of this statement seems to show how blindsided Harris was by this. Generally when a longtime popular player parts with a team, you get a warm statement remembering the good days.
Apparently the Jets gave Harris no indication this was coming if Rich Cimini is to be believed.
Just talked to Harris a few minutes ago in locker room. He had no idea. He was talking about being the lone holdover from Mangini era. #Jets— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) June 6, 2017
You could make an argument either way as to whether Harris was worth keeping for the Jets at his salary, but the way this was handled has nothing to do with the merits of the move.
Harris wasn't owed a roster spot by the Jets forever. He wasn't owed a big paycheck from the team forever.
What the team could do was show some appreciation for the class act he has been both on and off the field and at least been honest and upfront about its intentions from the outset. There are a few reports that the team wanted to negotiate a paycut. There was no reason this had to be strung out until June, though. Harris was either going to play at the salary the Jets wanted him, or he was going to be cut. Why the team couldn't figure out by March which of the two it would be is difficult to understand.
Will this have a tangible impact? Maybe it will. Maybe it won't. In the short run, any trust these agents might have had with the Jets for other potential players they represent might be damage. Perhaps this will make players a tad more weary of signing with the Jets. Ultimately I would imagine the fallout will not be that great.
You'd just like to think the Jets would treat a guy like Harris better. You hear words like culture and character thrown around a lot these days. It would be nice to see the team handle a situation like this better.
Making the right player transactions is difficult. The one thing the Jets can control is how they handle things with their players. Treating a homegrown Ring of Honor level guy with honesty should be a given. If they didn't intend to keep him, it never should have dragged out this long.
Nobody was helped by this. Only Harris was hurt.