Over the weekend we revealed that the Chiefs have an interest in former New York Jets first round pick, linebacker Vernon Gholston. Now comes word they are trying to lure the defensive tackle they sorely need.
A week ago the Chicago Bears dismissed veteran defensive tackle Tommie Harris. Shortly thereafter, the Midway gentle giant received in inquiry from the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Bears released Harris for a variety of reasons. One is that he's owed in roster bonus dollars and salary somewhere between $4.9 and $ 5.4 million in 2011. Secondly, they felt that his play was diminished in 2010 and thus felt Harris was expendable.
However the Bears after being the NFL's largest spender a year ago in free agency appears ready to regain some financial stability. They recently restructured the contract of their top 2010 free agent Julius Peppers to free up some much needed cash. With the teams decision to cut Harris and linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer, the Bears will save roughly $7.5 million off the books this season. Add that to the dollars they're going to be saving on Peppers deal this season, some $8 million, it appears that they're run to the NFC Championship game this past January might not be within their sites again this season.
Thus they let a talented defensive tackle leave a sound defense and hope that they can find a path to getting him back in a Bears uniform.
But that might be problematic after listening to the Chiefs, he's also had conversations with the Minnesota Vikings. And from our source, it appears that Harris might have, or already has, chosen his next team. However until there is a new CBA in place it's unlikely any NFL teams will make any announcements in regards to players like Harris.
The Chiefs are in desperate need of a space eating nose tackle to anchor their 3-4 defense. But the former Oklahoma Sooner standout barely tips the scales at 300 points. And when you factor in that Harris's numbers were abysmal in 2010, you have to wonder if he's the right for the Chiefs. He only managed 13 tackles and 1.5 sacks last season and that more than anything else might have caused the Bears to give up on him.
For the Chiefs adding Harris would actually be a drop off statistically from their incumbent veteran Ron Edwards.
However, Harris will turn 28 years old this spring and KC's Edwards is entering his 11th NFL season. To our knowledge, the Chiefs have made no attempts to re-sign Edwards and that could only mean they are in hot pursuit of Harris.
Our source states that the Chiefs like the bumper crop of defensive tackles available in the NFL draft but feel that they are better suited to land a veteran presence via free agency rather than turning the job over to a young rookie draftee.
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WARPAINT ILLUSTRATED MESSAGE BOARDS:
Is Harris just a younger Ron Edwards or can he be more in KC's defense?
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