Teams favor passing over running the ball in today’s NFL. That’s why it makes sense for them to stockpile as many cornerbacks as possible in order to stop or at least slow opposing offenses down. The Jacksonville Jaguars have spent the last two seasons revamping their cornerback group, and the unit looks in good shape ahead of the 2022 season, so it wouldn’t make sense for them to pursue Chris Harris, who is currently a free agent.
Doug Kyed of Pro Football Focus recently drew up a list of trades or acquisitions NFL teams should make ahead of the regular season and he believes the Jags should pursue Harris. He argues that Jacksonville has a good starting trio in Shaquill Griffin, Tyson Campbell, and Darious Williams but he doesn’t see any of them as fits for the nickel spot. That’s where Harris, who has experience lining up in the slot, comes in.
"The Jaguars have a solid top three at cornerback with Saquill Griffin, Darious Williams, and Tyson Campbell, and one of those players will likely be manning the slot. But none of them are obvious fits for the position — Williams played heavily outside with the Los Angeles Rams despite his smaller stature — and in an era when teams go four wide, it would be nice to have another option and more certainty with a player like Harris."
After going undrafted in 2011, Harris went on to spend his NFL career with the Denver Broncos before signing with the Los Angeles Chargers last offseason. He’s made four Pro Bowls and was named First-Team All-Pro in 2016. He’s logged 22 interceptions and 99 passes defensed throughout his career, which explains why he’s seen as a potential fit for the Jaguars.
It doesn’t make sense for the Jaguars to pursue Chris Harris Jr.
Harris played 78 percent of the Chargers’ defensive snaps last season, which is the lowest amount of his career. He’s still a dependable cornerback but he’s no longer the player he was in his prime, which could be why he’s currently unsigned. He can still help a team but the Jaguars aren’t one of them. After all, Griffin and Campbell will tentatively start outside with Williams lining up in the slot.
In the unlikely scenario Jacksonville signs Harris, what will they do with Williams or Campbell? The former got a three-year, $30 million in free agency and the front office didn’t sign him to keep him on the bench. Also, it doesn’t make sense for Campbell to stay on the sidelines. He showed promise as a rookie and keeping him away from the football field would hinder his development.
Moreover, the Jaguars have depth at cornerback. They brought back veteran Tre Herndon, who has starting experience playing inside and outside, on a one-year deal. Safety Rudy Ford can also line up in the slot, as he did last season if needed. If that wasn’t enough, the Jags drafted Gregory Junior and Montaric Brown earlier this year. Simply, there’s no room for Harris in the Jags’ secondary.
The Jaguars have a well-rounded cornerback room. It may be far from perfect but they will probably be able to withstand a couple of injuries, which makes a Harris signing not necessary for the moment.