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When the Green Bay Packers failed to activate cornerback Al Harris from the physically unable to perform list last Saturday, you sensed something was up.
But did anyone really expect the Packers to cut the 35-year old veteran?
While the move caught many by surprise, including myself, it's not hard to see the reasons why general manager Ted Thompson wouldn't bring back Harris.
For one, as I mentioned above, Harris is 35 years old and a month away from being 36. You can search all you want, but the fact remains that very few cornerbacks at that age are productive.
Secondly, Harris is still less than a year removed from his horrific knee injury. At his age, and his position, an injury like that could really set back even the most gifted cornerbacks. Harris had clearly begun to show his age before the injury, so there's no telling how the knee was holding up.
Lastly, and possibly most importantly, don't you think if Al Harris had anything left to give the Green Bay Packers this season that Thompson would have kept him on the roster?
Sure, he was practicing with the first team defense for the past three weeks, but isn't that even more telling then? The Packers' coaching staff had three solid weeks of practice to analyze what Harris had, and obviously, they couldn't find a reason to keep him on the team.
If we've learned anything this season, it's to trust the roster decisions that Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy make. And in this case, as sad as it is to say, I think they made the right move.
General managers across the NFL make the mistake of holding on to veterans longer then they should, and Thompson isn't making that mistake here.
One last thing about Harris: isn't it telling as well that no NFC North team signed him? All three teams—Vikings, Bears and Lions—are thin in the secondary. And from what I read, both the Lions and Vikings were interested in taking a deeper look into Harris, and neither team made the move.
You'd have to believe his price tag was well below the $2.5 million deal he had when he cleared waivers, so money could hardly have been the issue for any team.
Yet the Dolphins signed Harris today, and I'll be keeping an eye on how he performs in Miami. Something tells me he's going to struggle.