Chicago Bears Should Sign Tommie Harris to Be a Backup Defensive Tackle

Brett SoleskyCorrespondent IApril 8, 2017

CHICAGO - SEPTEMBER 12: Tommie Harris #91 of the Chicago Bears pressures Shaun Hill #14 of the Detroit Lions during the NFL season opening game at Soldier Field on September 12, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Lions 19-14. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

In 2010, the Chicago Bears parted ways with three-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Tommie Harris after a string of injuries left him sidelined throughout most of his final seasons. Harris, however, remains a better backup three technique option than anything the Bears currently have on the roster. 

The situation behind starter Henry Melton is precarious at best and could get worse in an instant. Nate Collins, Jordan Miller, John McCargo, Ronnie Cameron and DeMario Pressley are five players vying for the fourth defensive tackle spot on the Bears roster this year. These five players have made a combined one NFL start between them. 

I won't even bother trying to get into the career statistics of any of these guys, because it's not even worth making the effort or point when there is so little to investigate. 

In a conversation I had with Jeremy Stoltz of Bear Report magazine, the subject of moving defensive end Israel Idonije back to DT in passing situations came up.  The consensus seems to be that Idonije won't be moving back to tackle any time soon. 

So the question now is, after a decent season with the San Diego Chargers, and with the Bears ending on stable terms with Tommie Harris, why shouldn't the Bears kick the tires on the veteran? Harris would be nothing more than a rotational player who takes snaps to help given Melton a rest. 

But his abilities and experience in the system is better than anything they have in front of them right now. Assuming Harris is still in football shape, the Bears should make the call and bring him in as their backup.  They need a better safety net than what this collection of garbage offers them right now. 

Harris is under 30 and is still well respected by the Bears organization. This was evident when so many former teammates and Bears coaches showed up for the funeral of his beloved wife who passed away unexpectedly. Harris' relationship with the Bears runs deeper than football and when he needed them, they were there for him. 

Now the Bears need him, even if it's in a completely reduced role, because Harris showed enough last year with the Chargers to warrant a second opportunity to play for them now. 

A reduced role as a backup would be beneficial to both the Bears and Harris. The need is there; the only thing left to do is pick up the phone and place the call.


Brett Solesky is editor and publisher of a Chicago Bears blog.  For more articles about the Bears, including a weekly podcast featuring weekly player interviews and other in-depth information visit my blog.