The Eagles landed a gem when they quietly added Anthony Harris to the roster after he blossomed in Minnesota.
The Eagles signed the then-free agent to a one-year contract worth up to $5 million.
Coming into the league as an undrafted rookie after the 2015 NFL Draft, Harris would play under new Eagles defensive coordinator, Jonathan Gannon, during his first three years in Minnesota.
The former Virginia Cavalier would serve as a rotational player during his first two years as a Viking before eventually producing at safety and earning more playing time, ultimately, landing the starting job during the 2019 and 2020 season.
ESPN recently graded every team’s upgrade during the 2020 NFL offseason and Harris landed at No. 18 on the list.
18. Philadelphia Eagles, S: Anthony Harris replaces Jalen Mills
Mills’ 2020 stat line: 74 tackles, 1 INT
Harris’ 2021 projection: 103 tackles, 2.0 INTs
Mills was a solid find by the Eagles as a seventh-round pick back in 2016, but the versatile defensive back was not the answer as Malcolm Jenkins’ de facto replacement at safety last season. Mills is now in New England and will be replaced in Philadelphia by a more traditional safety in Harris.
The 29-year-old broke out with a league-high six INTs in 2019 before he was slapped with the franchise tag by Minnesota. He wasn’t quite as dominant last season, as he failed to record a single interception, but he did increase his tackle total from 60 in 2019 to a career-high 104. Nonetheless, Harris provides an upgrade and solid starter with upside opposite Rodney McLeod in an Eagles secondary that badly needed an injection of talent. The Eagles have ranked 22nd or worse in interceptions each of the past three seasons, with a total of 29 during the span.
Last year, Harris recorded 56 solo tackles, 7 pass deflections, and 46 assisted tackles. For his career, the defensive back has made 284 tackles, nine interceptions, 28 pass deflections, and 1 touchdown during his six-year tenure with Minnesota.
Harris will join a defensive backs corps featuring Pro Bowler Darius Slay, Rodney McLeod, and Avonte Maddox.