In March, the Cleveland Browns were exploring a trade that involved Vikings safety Anthony Harris:
The #Vikings surprisingly applied the franchise tag to safety Anthony Harris but acknowledged to teams that Harris could be had for a mid-to-late round draft pick, source said. A potential tag and trade candidate.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 17, 2020
A trade seems possible and maybe probable for the “tag and trade candidate:”
Sources said #Vikings safety Anthony Harris in “no rush” to sign franchise tag (deadline is July 15) because he continues to want longterm deal Sources say some negotiations expected between Harris & Vikings before draft but doesn’t seem to be chance of longterm deal reached soon
— Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) April 21, 2020
Harris, who had a career year in 2019, could still be a draft-day trade possibility for the Browns.
With Schefter stating that a mid-to-late round draft pick may get the job done, the Browns may not have to part with the 41st overall draft pick.
Cleveland has multiple picks in the third round in addition to early fourth and sixth rounders as well.
Why is Harris Such a Great NFL Safety?
The sky seems to be the limit for the 28-year-old 202-lb, 6’1″ undrafted Viking out of Virginia.
Harris enters his sixth season in the NFL after he started double-digit games for the first time in 2019.
He was the Defensive Player of the Week in Week 1 when he intercepted Matt Ryan twice and recovered a fumble as well.
In the 28-12 Vikings victory against the Atlanta Falcons at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minnesota, Harris also had five tackles.
Harris went on to intercept four more passes in 2019, and he returned one of them back for a touchdown:
A day after Juan Thornhill returns an interception for a touchdown for the Chiefs, former #UVa safety Anthony Harris returns a pick to the house for the Vikings on Monday Night Football on what can only be described as an unorthodox play. pic.twitter.com/V8Tx3vrkFS
— John Shifflett (@John_Shifflett) December 3, 2019
He led the NFL in interceptions last season.
He also had career highs in passes defended and tackles.
Not only would Harris be an important addition for his defensive ability, but he also has playoff experience.
Since the Vikings have recently been to the playoffs several times, Harris has been able to excel in the postseason.
He has won two football games in the playoffs, and both have coincidentally been against the New Orleans Saints.
On January 5, 2020, Harris picked off Drew Brees for the first time in his career:
Anthony Harris with his league-leading 7th interception of the season pic.twitter.com/1joVJRko6Z
— NFL Warehouse (@NflWarehouse) January 5, 2020
Harris was responsible for the only interception of the game.
Harris was able to create a touchdown for the Vikings, as the offense got the ball with just over two minutes remaining in the first half.
The Vikings won by just six points, and Harris was a very important reason for the victory.
How Can Harris Help the Browns in the 2020 Season?
The Browns, who have the talent to make their first postseason since 2002, could use Harris’ playoff experience.
Although Cleveland’s rushing defense struggled more than its passing defense, Harris would be able to move the Browns defense into the upper echelon.
In 2019, Cleveland allowed 25 touchdowns thrown by quarterbacks, which ranked in the lower half of the league.
If Harris starts the majority of 2020 contests for the Browns, they could find themselves allowing fewer passing touchdowns.
He would also be an instrumental part in trying to make Cleveland a top-10 defense for the first time since 2014.
Under former Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski, the Browns could be focusing more on offense.
However, he does have ties to Minnesota since he was in the organization from 2006 to 2019.
If the Browns go through with the trade of a late third or fourth-round selection for Harris, then it will be worth it.