Dockett vs. Harris: Who's More Valuable?

With DT Darnell Dockett still insisting on a new contract, the timing of Chicago Bears DT Tommie Harris' extension couldn't have been worse for the Cardinals. GM Rod Graves has failed to address Dockett's demand for a new deal and now has Harris' four-year, $40 million contract as the benchmark. Brad Wilbricht compares the two standout defensive tackles in this exclusive.

While Cardinals DT Darnell Dockett was a third-round draft pick, his performance has been on par with former first-round selection DT Tommie Harris of the Chicago Bears. Dockett (6'4", 285 pounds) boasts similar size as Harris (6'3", 295 pounds) and comparable explosion. Both players feature unmatched versatility and are extremely disruptive defenders. While Dockett and Harris excel on the interior, they both display the ability to play all positions along the defensive line.

Statistically, Docket has been arguably better than Harris. During his four-year career, Dockett has racked up 180 tackles, 15 sacks, and three interceptions. Over the course of Harris' four-year tenure in Chicago, he's totaled 141 tackles, 19.5 sacks, and zero interceptions. Furthermore, Dockett has been more durable than Harris. Dockett has played in every game throughout his NFL career while Harris missed four games in 2006 due to a hamstring injury.

Dockett's performance and stat line is even more impressive considering the lackluster defenses he's been a part of in Arizona. Although he's now surrounded by playmakers such as LB Karlos Dansby and SS Adrian Wilson, he wasn't as fortunate earlier in his career. Meanwhile, Harris has benefited from a superior supporting cast, in particular Pro Bowl LB Brian Urlacher.

DT Tommie Harris
(Jonathan Daniel/Getty)

While the Cardinals have been pleased with Dockett's performance, the impact of Harris' new contract will likely have a huge influence on the current negotiations. Dockett and Harris are good friends and share the same agent in Drew Rosenhaus. While Dockett might not command the dollar amount that Harris received, he'll be looking for a comparable deal now that the market has been set.

Further complicating matters for the Cardinals is the current status of WR Anquan Boldin. Boldin is also represented by agent Drew Rosenhaus and is looking for a new contract. Boldin will likely demand a similar deal as WR Larry Fitzgerald. Additionally, Wilson's contract is nearing its expiration and fresh negotiations with the Pro Bowl safety will be heating up soon.

Dockett will once again be heavily relied upon in a Cardinals defense poised to turn the corner this season. Although he signed a five-year extension in 2006, Dockett is unlikely to back off from his recent contract demands. His current skill-set and upside make Dockett one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL and equally as valuable as the three-time Pro Bowler Harris.

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