New York Jets Cut Veteran LB David Harris
This morning David Harris, the lone draft pick standing from the Mangini regime, was instructing the Jets troubled young linebacker Darron Lee at inside linebacker. By 2 pm, he was gone. An 11 year veteran, Harris was let go by the Jets to wipe his 6.5 million cap hit off the books.
Harris has spent his whole career with the Jets. Starting by going higher than expected in the 2007 NFL draft. The Jets jumped up in the 2nd round to get him, thanks in large part to linebacker coach Jim Herrmann, who had coached Harris at Michigan and raved about him. Harris won rookie of the month in November of that year and took over the starting position at Inside Linebacker the next year. What followed was the Jets longest tenure of consistently good play and two second team All-Pro selections. Nicknamed “The Hitman,” Harris led the team in tackles 9 times and was the lynchpin of the Jets defense.
Harris release came as a surprise as even with the return of LB Demario Davis the Jets depth at ILB is shaky. The aforementioned Darron Lee is constantly skirting controversy off the field, and struggling to pick up the position on it and Davis didn’t leave a positive impression manning the position the first time around. The Jets are either optimistic about the duos chances or needed the space to make a grab at a free agent like WR Jeremy Maclin. Either way it’s clear the 2017 season is a rebuilding one.
What’s next for Harris is unclear. He will almost certainly have suitors for his services, but his passion for leading and teaching the defense would also make him a great coach. He will always have a home with the Jets, and the respect of their fans who appreciate his passionate play and how he carried himself as a professional through years of controversy around him.