NFL Free Agency Rumor: Tommie Harris to the Indianapolis Colts?

Collin McColloughNFL Deputy EditorApril 14, 2011

CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 16:  Tommie Harris #91 of the Chicago Bears reacts after a sack of quarterback Matt Hasselbeck #8 of the Seattle Seahawks in the 2011 NFC divisional playoff game at Soldier Field on January 16, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

According to Vaughn McClure, Chicago Bears beat writer for the Chicago Tribune, free-agent defensive tackle Tommie Harris is likely to join the Indianapolis Colts once the lockout is lifted.

McClure tweeted the following from his Twitter account:

Don't be surprised if Tommie Harris signs with the Colts once the lockout ends.

The signing would make sense for the Colts, a team that has traditionally struggled to find impact—or even consistent—defensive tackles. The Colts signed Corey Simon for the 2005 season, only to see his Indianapolis career end before ever playing a down in 2006 due to a rumored arthritic condition.

Similarly, the Colts lost Booger McFarland—a defensive tackle acquired at the 2006 season's trade deadline—to what ultimately proved to be a career-ending knee injury in the offseason following their Super Bowl XLI championship.

While the team typically avoids free agency, it has shown a willingness to explore free-agent defensive tackle options, and facing an offseason where Dan Muir and Antonio Johnson are no longer under contract, surely the Colts would at least explore the possibility of signing Harris at a reasonable cost.

Harris is a free agent after spending seven seasons with the Bears, several of which were marred by knee injuries and inconsistent play. The free-agent defensive tackle is coming off a 2010 season that saw him only record nine tackles and 1.5 sacks in six total starts.

Dan Pompei of National Football Post recently published a report expressing doubt over Harris' lower body strength going forward after suffering a second hamstring tear and knee injury in 2010.