NFL free agency 2022: Eagles re-sign veteran safety Anthony Harris

The Eagles re-signed safety Anthony Harris to a one-year deal Friday evening, bringing the 30-year-old veteran back for a second season in Philadelphia.

The move was first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter and confirmed by NBC Sports Philadelphia.

Harris became an unrestricted free agent this week, but the Eagles – desperate for safety help and either unwilling or disinterested in high-priced safeties on the market – brought the long-time Viking back.

The Eagles paid Harris $4 million last year on a one-year deal – signed one year ago Saturday – and although terms of this deal aren’t yet available this one is presumably in the same range.

It’s something of a surprising move considering Harris’s play last year could best be described as uninspiring and there was a sense the Eagles wanted to upgrade the safety spot – which they still can do.

Harris wasn’t awful last year by any means but he wasn’t very productive in terms of big plays.

He did contribute to one of the Eagles’ biggest defensive plays of the season. With 30 seconds left in the Eagles’ Week 17 game against Washington at FedEx Field and the Eagles up 20-16, Washington had a 1st-and-10 on the Eagles’ 20-yard-line. Taylor Heinicke tried to connect with tight end John Bates in the end zone, but Harris’s coverage forced Heinicke to throw the ball just beyond Bates’ reach, and McLeod picked it off to send the Eagles to the playoffs.

Pro Football Focus rated Harris as the 13th-best safety available this year in free agency.

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But considering that the only safeties currently on the roster are Marcus Epps, K’Von Wallace and Jared Mayden, it’s a safe move that at least brings a functional starter back to the NovaCare Complex.

McLeod, the Eagles’ other starting safety last year, remains a free agent. McLeod and Harris both played at Virginia and entered the NFL as undrafted free agents.

Harris started 14 games last year in his first season with the Eagles and had 72 tackles, two tackles for loss, three pass deflections and an interception off Tom Brady in the Eagles’ regular-season loss to the Buccaneers.

In seven NFL seasons, Harris has played in 95 games, started 61 and has 10 steals and 31 pass deflections. He led the NFL with six INTs in 2019 but has just the one off Brady in two years since.

Harris spent his first six seasons with the Vikings and current Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon was his assistant defensive backs coach from 2015 through 2017 before joining Frank Reich and Nick Sirianni in Indianapolis.

This was a pretty deep safety free agency class, and players such as Marcus Williams ($14 million per year over five years), Quandre Diggs ($13.3 million per year over three years), Justin Reid ($10.5 million per year over three years), Marcus Maye ($9.5 million per year over three years), Jordan Whitehead ($7.25 million per year over two years) and Xavier Woods ($5.25 million per year over three years) were apparently out of the Eagles’ price range.

By inking Harris to a one-year deal, the Eagles don’t have to worry about cap implications or dead money in future seasons.

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