He's back on the roster after a rough 2022 season, but could the Detroit Lions get anything for Charles Harris in a trade?
On paper, Detroit Lions have depth in many spots. Whether edge rusher is one of those spots can be debated, and a late addition could be possible there. The battle for roles will be interesting between now and Week 1, and it will hard to keep James Houston off the field.
Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report recently offered one player each NFL team should consider trading before the 2023 season. The choice for the Lions could have gone a few directions, but he landed on edge rusher Charles Harris.
"Charles Harris has had an up-and-down NFL career thus far. The Miami Dolphins selected Harris in the first round of the 2017 draft but traded him to Atlanta after just three seasons. The Falcons let him go after one, and Harris recorded a mere 6.5 sacks in his first four seasons.
However, the 28-year-old had a breakout campaign with the Detroit Lions in 2021, finishing with 7.5 sacks and 34 quarterback pressures. This led to Harris getting a two-year, $13 million extension in Detroit.
Harris has one year left on that deal, and the Lions should consider moving him while they have the opportunity."
NFL Trade Rumors: Could the Lions get anything in a trade for Charles Harris?
As Knox pointed to, Harris rescued his career when he led the Lions with 7.5 sacks in 2021. Last year, even when he was on the field before a groin injury eventually landed him on IR, he wasn't particularly impactful (one sack in six games).
Harris took a bit of pay cut to stay with the Lions this offseason, and the team created less than $3 million in 2023 cap space with the move. They could have just cut him and moved on without blinking an eye, but for Harris it made sense to stay rather than possibly get even less on the open market. The Lions had all the leverage, and it seems they used it.
The trade market for Harris would not be strong. But maybe the Lions would showcase him in a preseason game to move that needle. Maybe injuries elsewhere open up an opportunity to deal him, if they would even pursue it.
Clearing $3.1 million in cap space by trading Harris feels insignificant, and the Lions are in pretty good shape for cap space anyway. But he is facing a reduced role in Detroit this year, and in the name of clearing a roster spot the idea of trading Harris between now and Week 1 is not completely out in left field.