NFL

Damon Harrison to Sign with Giants: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction

New York Jets nose tackle Damon Harrison (94) walks on the sideline during the second half of an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Ben Margot/Associated Press
Alec NathanFeatured ColumnistMarch 9, 2016

Damon Harrison operated as a stabilizing force on the interior of the New York Jets defensive line for the past three seasons, but his time with Gang Green is reportedly finished after he agreed to terms on a new contract with the New York Giants at the start of the new league year. 

NFL Network's Rand Getlin reported Harrison's deal with Big Blue is worth up to $46.25 million over five years, while CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora added that $24 million is guaranteed. 

Although Harrison expressed a strong desire to re-sign with the Jets, per ESPN.com's Rich Cimini, head coach Todd Bowles cautioned the team would take some time to step back and evaluate the financial parameters of a potential return.  

"Yeah, you want him back, but everything is business," Bowles said, per the New York Daily News' Manish Mehta. "If you get a boatload of money more than (from) us, obviously, that’s a decision he has to make. ... We just make sure we have a plan in place to try to get him back."

As is generally the case with defensive tackles, Harrison does the dirty work that isn't recognized in box scores.

Damon Harrison's Career Numbers
SeasonGamesSolo TacklesSacks
2012500
201316361.0
201416300
201516390.5
Source: Pro-Football-Reference.com

However, CBSSports.com's Jared Dubin relayed some advanced numbers that helped put the 350-pound enforcer's production into perspective: "Harrison has played in and started every game for the Jets in each of the last three seasons, a time period during which he ranks third among 3-4 nose tackles in Pro Football Reference's Approximate Value (an attempt to assign a one-number value to every player season since 1950)."

Pro Football Focus' Nathan Jahnke provided some more in-depth numbers to help explain how dynamite Harrison has been: 

As those numbers indicate, Harrison is one of the most valuable interior defensive linemen in the NFL—even if pass-rushing teammates have long overshadowed him.

So, while his contributions may fly under the radar now that the Giants have bookends like Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon set to attack quarterbacks off the edge, Harrison is the sort of glue guy who can eat up multiple blockers to help facilitate defensive excellence across the team's front seven. 

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