As the New York Jets have some big decisions to make in the upcoming offseason, it’s important they keep linebacker David Harris for 2017 due to his leadership and mentoring abilities.
Looking at the New York Jets as a whole, lots of questions will need to be answered this offseason. When it comes to defense, massive changes are coming both from a coaching and personnel point of view. In the grand scheme of things, the Jets must balance youth and veteran leadership to find that unique formula to consistent success.
It won’t be easy but one thing about 2016 is that time heals all. It’s all about going back to work and trying to look at the roster as a whole to determine who stays and who goes. When it comes to linebacker David Harris, this was one of his least productive seasons but would do better in a backup/mentoring role next season.
In 2016, Harris totaled just 62 tackles, 0.5 sacks, and zero forced fumbles. Whether it’s age catching up to him or a decline in play, Harris has over a decade’s worth of playing in the NFL and is entering the final few years of his prolific career.
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Is he headed to the Pro Football Hall of Fame? Not likely, but at the end of it all, Harris still has a ton of value for the Jets heading into next season. With two potential future cornerstones at linebacker in Darron Lee and Jordan Jenkins, respectively, Harris should be retained for next season to continue what he started with them.
Lee and Jenkins could very well be the next two household names for the Jets and will need to continue being developed the right way. Harris, entering the final year of his three-year contract he signed back in 2015, should be used as quality depth next season.
He might not be a viable starter come 2017 but at the very least, can come in on situational plays and continue to mold both Lee and Jenkins until he’s ready to pass the torch. He’s a true leader in the locker room and has all the experience to back it up. He’s exactly what both Lee and Jenkins need to continue honing them to be all-around complete linebackers.
Overall, the Jets should bring back Harris in a backup/mentoring role and use him when needed. It’s best to let him play the final year of his contract as to which then it’ll make more sense for him to retire with the team that originally selected him in the 2007 NFL Draft.