Detroit Lions: 4 easiest offseason roster decisions for the defense
2. Make a concerted effort to re-sign Charles Harris
After being drafted in the first round (22nd overall) by the Miami Dolphins in 2017, Harris quickly moved into the category of draft bust with just 3.5 sacks in three seasons (41 games). He was marginally better in 2020 with the Atlanta Falcons, registering three sacks in 13 games.
Harris signed a one-year, $1.75 million deal with the Lions last offseason. He had a four-game sack streak during the first half of the season, tying a franchise record, and he stood out in Detroit’s upset win over the Arizona Cardinals in Week 15 (12 total tackles, three tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks).
Harris finished with a career-high (and a team-high) 7.5 sacks in 2021, along with a career-best 65 total tackles and 10 tackles for loss. The Lions’ pass rush broadly lacked consistent juice, but he was a constant off the edge. Hence why ESPN Lions’ reporter Eric Woodyard has tabbed Harris as the most important free agency decision for the team this offseason.
"After a 3-13-1 finish, the Lions certainly don’t have many must-keep players on the roster, but Harris is one of the guys they should re-sign. Under a new coaching staff, in a new situation, Harris enjoyed his best season as a pro with a career-best 65 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks. Detroit needs as much depth as possible, and he’s already comfortable in the position, so it would make sense to bring him back. — Eric Woodyard"
Harris earned himself a multi-year this offseason, and the premium on pass rushers assures he’ll be paid pretty handsomely. Spotrac has put his market value in the $8.5-$10 million range, before and after adjusting for comps, on a two-year deal after that comp adjustment. Re-signing him will come down to cost for the Lions, and if that price point reflects what becomes reality bringing Harris back seems very likely.