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.
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.
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:
Most run stops by a DT over the last 3 years: 1.Damon Harrison 116 2.Marcell Dareus 88 3.Bennie Logan 87 4.Ndamukong Suh 80 5.Dontari Poe 75— Nathan Jahnke (@PFF_NateJahnke) March 9, 2016
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.