Tag:Tommie Harris
Posted on: February 28, 2012 12:00 am
Edited on: February 28, 2012 11:17 am
 

2012 NFL Free Agency: Defensive tackle rankings

Follow all our 2012 free-agent rankings (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

Leading up to the start of free agency on March 13, we're compiling the best 2012 NFL free agents by position. These are the defensive tackles.

Unlike our previous free-agent breakdowns, the defensive tackles lack big names and depth; but that doesn't mean their roles have diminished. Getting into the backfield is more important now than ever, and while sacks aren't necessarily a hallmark of the position, disrupting what the offense wants to do certainly is. And that's where some of the names below excel.

1. Paul Soliai

Breakdown: Soliai spent the first five years of his NFL career with the Dolphins. They thought so much of him that they franchised him before the 2011 season. The two sides have yet to agree on a long-term deal, although it isn't from a lack of trying. With the Dolphins likely switching from a 3-4 to a 4-3, the nose tackle looks to be headed for free agency. Six-four, 355-pound space-eaters seldom have trouble finding work and we suspect that'll be the case for Soliai, too.

Possible landing spots: Chiefs, Chargers, other 3-4 teams with cap room and a need for a nose tackle.

2. Sione Pouha

Breakdown: The Jets' defense wasn't the reason the team imploded down the stretch last season, but the unit wasn't as good as it had been during Rex Ryan's first two seasons in New York. Luckily, the Mark Sanchez-Santonio Holmes afterschool special obscured all that. But locker-room catfights aside, the Jets' defense has to get better in 2012 and that starts up the middle. Pouha is a run-stuffing nose tackle who at 33 shows no signs of slowing down. Because of the Jets' precarious salary-cap situation, they have no plans to tag Pouha, but as the Newark Star-Ledger's Jenny Vrentas noted last week, "Pouha is coming off a strong season and also has leverage because Kenrick Ellis, last year's third-round draft pick, is not yet ready for the role."

Possible landing spots: Patriots, Chargers, Chiefs.

3. Jason Jones

Breakdown: Jones is one of the most underrated defensive linemen in the NFL. At 6-5, 276, he might appear undersized for the tackle position but he had 12.5 sacks playing primarily inside during his first three seasons. But under a new coaching staff in 2011, Jones played both tackle and end and saw his numbers slip (he had just three sacks). Following the season, he admitted that how the Titans plan to use him could determine the likelihood he re-signs. Earlier this month, Titans head coach Mike Munchak said (via the Tennessean) “We’re going to use him whatever way we think is best to win football games. Obviously, if we felt leaving him at defensive tackle for every snap was the way to go, we would have done that. We didn’t do that. So now it’s just a matter of us having the right mix and having him feel good about it."

The Titans and Jones have begun contract talks but he appears headed for free agency.

Possible landing spots: Eagles, Broncos, Colts.
                                                                          (US PRESSWIRE)

4. Antonio Garay

Breakdown: Word on the street is that the Chargers will release defensive end Luis Castillo and hope to re-sign Garay and Tommie Harris (though both will be allowed to test free agency). At 32, Garay's best days may be behind him, but at the right price he makes a lot of sense. Pro Football Weekly noted several weeks ago that "Many believe Garay wore down at the end of the year, as he was not used to playing three downs for an entire season. With a capable backup in place, a better rotation would allow the lineman to stay fresh for the entire grind of the year."

The nose tackle rotation would include 2010 fifth-rounder Cam Thomas.

Possible landing spots: Defenses running the 3-4 and looking for a savvy, reasonably priced, two-down veteran. Patriots, Steelers, Cardinals.

5. Brodrick Bunkley

Breakdown: Bunkley washed out as the Eagles' 2006 first-round pick but experienced a rebirth of sorts in Denver last season. "There was at least some injury concern when Bunkley went to the Broncos," the Denver Post's Jeff Legwold wrote earlier this month, "but once he arrived, he didn't miss a practice on the way to playing in every game in the 2011 season. His statistics were modest on the surface — 43 tackles and no sacks — but his teammates, particularly the ones who have been with the Broncos for a while, say he was a key part of any improvement the team made defensively over 2010."

Team president John Elway, taking a break from talking Tim Tebow, offered this. "He really played well. Like all of our free agents, we would like to get them back in the building and consider (re-signing them)."

Possible landing spots: Broncos, cash-strapped teams looking for affordable depth.

6. Aubrayo Franklin

Breakdown: New Saints defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo will have to decide whether Franklin is worth re-signing but if not, Franklin could have a future as a nose tackle. "The nine-year veteran signed just a one-year, $4 million contract with New Orleans in '11, playing tackle in the 4-3 after the 3-4 market never really developed for him," Sports Xchange's Len Pasquarelli wrote in mid-February. "Two personnel directors at the Super Bowl last week mentioned Franklin as a possible 'sleeper' at the position." Which means Franklin could be in demand with 3-4 teams, or teams looking to move to the 3-4.

Possible landing spots: Chiefs, Patriots, Steelers, Redskins.

7. Shaun Rogers

Breakdown: Remember when Rogers did this? (Tebow never lets that happen, by the way.) After stints in Cleveland and New Orleans, Rogers had developed a reputation for taking plays off. In 2011, he got off to a slow start with the Saints but improved as the season progressed. New Orleans could choose to give him a short-term deal, but it's just as likely that Rogers is headed for free agency. 

Possible landing spots: Chiefs, Saints.

8. Amobi Okoye

Breakdown: Okoye was 19 years old when the Texans took him out of Louisville in the first round of the 2007 draft (10th overall). He never lived up to expectations in Houston, and Chicago signed him to a one-year deal before the 2011 season. He played in 16 games for the Bears and had 18 tackles and four sacks. Last week, head coach Lovie Smith said "Amobi had a heck of a year," and sounded like the organization would make a real effort to keep him. On Sunday, CSNChicago.com's John Mullin wrote that "the Bears had contract talks late last season (with Okoye) and likely will have re-signed before the outset of free agency."

Possible landing spots: Chicago.

9. Albert Haynesworth

                                                                          (US PRESSWIRE)
Breakdown: Haynesworth makes the list on reputation alone. And we mean his pre-Redskins reputation, when Jim Washburn got the most out of the man now known as one of the biggest free-agent busts in recent years. Not even Bill Belichick could revive Haynesworth's career, cutting him midway through last season.

The Bucs signed him only to release him a few weeks ago. Maybe his career is over, but then again, coaches and GMs are seduced by potential. And Haynesworth certainly has plenty of that.

Possible landing spots: Realistically, Haynesworth's probably done. That said, we wouldn't be shocked if the Redskins signed him to another $100 million deal.

10. Tommie Harris

Breakdown: Injuries derailed a great career in the making for the Bears' former first-round pick. Chicago released Harris before the 2011 season, and after a brief stopover with the Colts, he made a home in San Diego. He played so well, in fact, that the Chargers are hoping to re-sign him and Garay to provide depth for a crop of young defensive linemen.

Possible landing spots: Teams looking for depth.

Honorable mention

Rocky Bernard, Kelly Gregg (possible retirement), Pat Sims, Jimmy Kennedy, Kyle Love (RFA), Trevor Laws

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Posted on: February 13, 2012 10:58 am
Edited on: February 14, 2012 6:20 am
 

Tommie Harris' wife dies Sunday night

Thoughts and prayers go out to Harris and his family. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Ashley Harris, the wife of defensive lineman Tommie Harris, was hospitalized on Sunday with a stroke or brain aneurysm and died on Sunday evening, Harris family friend Bill Horn said.

That's via Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times, who initially reported Harris' condition on Sunday afternoon.

Harris was drafted by the Bears with the 14th overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft and played for Chicago until being released in February 2011. He then signed on with the Colts but was released before playing a game in Indianapolis. The Chargers signed Harris, who played 13 games for San Diego in 2011.

Tommie and Ashley, 29, were married in January.

Harris, according to Jensen, "remains popular with Bears teammates" and a few of them even made the trip to Oklahoma to be with the defensive lineman during his time of need.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Harris and his family for their tragic loss.

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Posted on: February 12, 2012 5:22 pm
Edited on: February 12, 2012 5:24 pm
 

Report: Tommie Harris' wife on life support

Follow all of CBSSports.com's Full Super Bowl Coverage (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

The wife of defensive lineman Tommie Harris is on life support after suffering either a stroke or brain aneurism, family friend Bill Horn told the Chicago Sun-Times' Sean Jensen.

"We are holding on for a miracle," Horn said.

Harris was the 14th overall pick in the 2004 draft out of the University of Oklahoma. He played seven seasons with the Bears where he was a Pro Bowler. The team released him after the 2010 season. He was also released by the Colts during the 2011 preseason before signing with the Chargers where he played in 13 games, registered 13 tackles, three sacks, and a forced fumble.

Jensen reports that Ashley, 29, is in an Oklahoma hospital and some of Harris' Chicago teammates are en route to offer their support. Ashley gave birth to the couple's second child in October.

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Posted on: September 28, 2011 5:04 pm
Edited on: September 28, 2011 5:12 pm
 

Stop me if you've heard this: Bob Sanders to IR

B. Sanders was placed on the IR list by San Diego (US Presswire).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

When the Chargers signed safety Bob Sanders to a one-year deal in March, this was the reaction from general manager A.J. Smith: "We have always held him in high regard. He's a smart, physical, instinctive player. His intensity and playmaking ability can make an immediate impact on our defense."

Smith, though, forgot this caveat: “… When Bob is, you know, healthy.”

Which he hasn’t been for much of his career and which he’s not right now, as the Chargers proved today when they placed Sanders on the Injured Reserve List while signing former Bears defensive tackle Tommie Harris, a three-time Pro Bowler who was cut by the Colts in the preseason.

Sanders seemed on his way to having a nice bounceback year -- I, sigh, put him on the Top Ten list of comeback player of the year award possibilities -- recording 12 tackles through the first two games of the season. But he missed last week with a knee injury. And though it sounded only two days ago like the swelling in his knee would keep him out only a short time, that diagnosis apparently changed.

"My career is not really about showing people how tough I can be," Sanders said earlier this week. "I've been down that road. Right now, I'm just trying to be smart."

And now he’s gone for the season.

“All we wished for Bob was good health and hoped to turn him loose to do his thing, which was being one great, physical, highly-competitive player,” Smith said in a statement. “It didn’t work out for him or us, and we wish him the very best. He was with us a very short time, but made a positive impact with our team in many ways, and I’ll always appreciate that.”

Where can Sanders possibly go from here? It’s impossible to answer because the guy is never healthy. After this season, he’ll have played only 48 of 128 possible games in his eight-year career, and you have to wonder if another team will take a chance on a player who’s never participated in a full NFL season.

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Posted on: September 3, 2011 8:54 pm
 

Lance Briggs makes his case on Twitter

BriggsPosted by Josh Katzowitz

You already know that Bears linebacker Lance Briggs wants to be traded after he asked for a raise and the club refused to do so. This isn’t the first time Briggs has shown unhappiness with his financial rewards from Chicago, and though the Bears gave him a six-year, $36 million deal in 2008, he still thinks he’s in an unfair situation.

Perhaps that’s why Briggs has taken to his Twitter account on a rant that began Friday and impressively extended into Saturday.

Writes Briggs (over many tweets): “Most have no idea what's goin on. Owners can cut any player they want at any time and answer to know one. Players fight for themselves … And get ridiculed. You know as well as I do there are things that happen behind doors that all the fans/critics dnt know about@mrileynupe … I keep reading that players (I) should honor our contracts...when have owners honored contracts...they dnt. Chris Johnson should never have … Had to hold out to get a new deal. His play spoke for himself. Yet team wouldnt just pay the man. Tommie Harris was honoring his contract … When the bears cut him right before his bonus. Cut Brandon Manumaleuna when he was just honoring his contract. … Players do what you must. People get hurt and emotional. I understand...bottom line were all still bears and were trying to bring home a championship.”

And more today: “You must also remember we are just players that help a fans favorite team win a championship. Once were not a part of that"@ChrisHarrisNFL … Any more, we become a thing if the past for many fans. who really gives a crap about players if they aren't helping the team win "@ChrisHarr.”

Though I can sympathize with Briggs, I also agree with what CBSSports.com’s Ryan Wilson wrote: “In general, we support a player's right to ask for a raise because NFL contracts aren't guaranteed. But Briggs had no issue with the deal when he signed it three years ago. Just because other teams might overpay for their linebackers isn't reason enough for the Bears to do the same. Maybe that changes after the season, or perhaps Briggs will get his wish and be traded.”

Briggs has said he’ll continue to give 100 percent even if he’s not traded from Chicago. But he clearly is unhappy right now, and that probably won’t change unless he’s given more money or traded to another team which would.

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Posted on: September 3, 2011 10:47 am
Edited on: September 3, 2011 10:15 pm
 

NFL cuts: Teams down to 53 by Saturday evening

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Getting to 53
On Tuesday, teams had to cut their roster size from 90 to 80, and while some interesting names were axed.

Included among them werelong-time San Diego long snapper David Binn, Cowboys center Andre Gurode and draft bust Vernon Gholston), and more are sure to come today.

So keep an eye on this post, where we’ll highlight the biggest names who get pink-slipped; at some point, somebody surprising is going to lose his job.

  • Though we're unsure what he did, ESPN.com is reporting that free agent running back Dominic Rhodes has been suspended by the commissioner for at least one year.
  • Browns running back Brandon Jackson has been placed on the IR list and will miss the season.
  • Receiver Donnie Avery has announced, via his Twitter page, that he's been released by the Rams. Wrote Avery: "Its been real St.Louis. I had a good 3 years. The feelings were mutual. We both thought I need a fresh start somewhere else. #NoHardFeelings"
  • The Titans have traded an undisclosed draft pick to the Packers for Quinn Johnson. The move is likely in response to the four-game suspension of Tennessee fullback Ahmard Hall.
  • The Jets announce they've traded defensive back Dwight Lowery to the Jaguars for an unconditional draft pick. The Jets also have received guard Caleb Schlauderaff from the Packers for an unconditional draft pick.
  • Apparently, the Texans are planning on scoring a lot this year. They've released Brad Maynard, the only punter on the roster.
  • With the Cowboys shaving their roster to 53, kicker Shayne Graham has had the pleasure of being cut twice this preseason.
  • The Jaguars have placed backup running back Rashad Jennings on the IR list with a knee injury.
  • The Dolphins have cut cornerback Will Allen and running back Larry Johnson, according to the Miami Herald. Allen had restructured his contract and took about a $4 million paycut in base pay for 2010, but still, that wasn't enough to save him a spot on the squad. Miami could bring him back at another reduced rate.
  • According to scout.com, the Raiders have parted ways with cornerbacks Lito Sheppard and Walter McFadden.
  • Though numerous reports said the Patriots were trying to trade defensive back Brandon Meriweather, he has been cut by the team. Also, in a bit of a surprise, New England has released receiver Brandon Tate.
  • Bears tight end Desmond Clark has confirmed that he's been released. Writes Clark on his Twitter page: "I played my butt off but sometimes it's more about the business. That's what it boiled down to."
  • The Broncos have announced they've also released receiver David Anderson and defensive tackle Jeremy Jarmon.
  • According to his agent, the Patriots have released veteran running back Sammy Morris.
  • Dan Orlovsky, in contention with Curtis Painter and Kerry Collins, to back up Peyton Manning, has been cut by the Colts.
  • The 49ers have cut quarterback Josh McCown. Here's what he'll do next, according to CSN Bay Area. "I'd love to come back," McCown said. "As for right now, I'm headed home to coach (high school football in North Carolina) and will continue to stay ready."
  • With plenty of personal baggage and a terrible end to the preseason, the Broncos have cut cornerback Perrish Cox, writes Rapid Reporter Lee Rasizer.
  • Rapid Reporter Paul Dehner reports that Cincinnati has cut Max Jean-Gilles. A bit of a surprise considering Jean-Gilles was reportedly competing for a starting job. He simply didn't have a great camp.
  • The Colts have released Tommie Harris. You'll recall the Colts gave him a one-year deal after the Bears cut him in February. Though Harris is a three-time Pro Bowler, his projection has been hurt by numerous injuries in the past few seasons.
  • The Eagles have released receiver Sinorice Moss.
  • A bum hamstring has done in Titans defensive lineman Jacob Ford. He has been waived/injured.
  • New England has released defensive lineman Eric Moore -- who, at one point, seemed a pretty safe bet to make the squad.
  • The San Diego Union Tribune writes that Chargers receivers Laurent Robinson and Kelley Washington are gone.
  • The Newark Star Ledger has declared Steve Weatherford the winner in the Giants punting competition. That means Matt Dodge will be released, despite a solid preseason.
  • According to his agent, Brandon Ghee, a 2010 third-round pick for the Bengals in 2010, has been cut by Cincinnati.
  • The Broncos have released tight end Dante Rosario. He's probably surprised, considering he played the last four years for John Fox in Carolina.
  • The Gronkowski family suffered a double-whammy, as PFT reports that Dan and Chris will be released from the Lions and Cowboys, respectively.
  • Two years ago, the Cowboys gave Igor Olshansky a four-year deal worth $18 million (with $8 million in guarantees). Today, according to ESPN, the Cowboys have released him.
  • According to the Carroll County Times, the Ravens will release linebacker Tavares Gooden, despite holding trade talks with the 49ers at one point.
  • According to the Chicago Tribune, Bears running back Chester Taylor has been informed he’s been cut. Again. For real, this time. We think.
  • With the Saints maintaining a good depth of running backs (Mark Ingram, Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas), the team has placed Chris Ivory on the physically unable to perform list. After six weeks, when he’s eligible to return, New Orleans will have to make a decision about which running back is most expendable.
  • The Rams have cut 2010 fourth-round pick wide receiver Mardy Gilyard. He obviously wasn’t stellar in St. Louis, but the scribes will miss him because of his immense interview skills. As an example, this is what he tweeted when he found out the news: “Jus got released isshhh is getting real na ugh!!!!”

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Posted on: August 2, 2011 9:07 pm
Edited on: August 3, 2011 7:06 am
 

Colts give Tommie Harris 1-year deal

Posted by Ryan Wilson

For as much as the NFL Draft and free agency are about emerging young talents, either entering the league or getting that big second contract, it's also about veteran players coming to grips with the reality of a sport notorious for short, injury-filled careers.

It wasn't long ago that Tommie Harris was one of those emerging young talents. An undersized defensive tackle from Oklahoma who relied on his quickness to get into the backfield and disrupt an offense's rhythm, Harris was selected by the Bears with the 14th overall pick in the 2004 draft.

A three-time Pro Bowler and runner-up in Defensive Rookie of the Year voting, injuries slowed Harris in recent years and the Bears released him in February 2011.

On Tuesday, Harris agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the Colts, where he will play in a defense similar to the one the Bears ran during his time there. Harris also visited the Patriots, who eventually landed Albert Haynesworth for the NFL roster equivalent of a bag of doughnuts. (The going rate for a dozen Krispy Kremes? A fifth-rounder.)

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Posted on: March 9, 2011 1:56 pm
 

Hot Routes 3.9.11 anyone want Tiki?

Hot Routes

Posted by Andy Benoit

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com