Viking safety Anthony Harris will play season under franchise tag

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings
Dec 23, 2019; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Anthony Harris (41) celebrates his interception during the second quarter against the Green Bay Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Harris signed his franchise tender with the Vikings in May, but there was still two months at that point for the safety and the team to come to an agreement on a multiyear contract.

That, however, never happened as the 3 p.m. deadline passed Wednesday, meaning Harris will be prohibited from signing a multiyear contract until the end of the regular season.

Harris won’t be hurting for money in 2020 — he will be guaranteed a salary of $11.4 million for the season — but the Vikings’ failure to work out an extension with the veteran does raise questions about his future with the team.

Unlike some players who have been given the franchise tag, there did not appear to be animosity between Harris and the Vikings. The team put the franchise tag on the 28-year-old in mid-March, despite being pressed up against the salary cap. The feeling was that the Vikings might be blocking Harris from becoming a free agent in order to trade him, possibly for a draft pick. The Cleveland Browns and New York Giants reportedly were among “several serious suitors” interested in Harris, but evidently the Vikings could not get what they wanted.

So what Minnesota has now is two of the top safeties in the NFL and both will be compensated very well. Harrison Smith will make an $8.35 million base salary in 2020 and will count $10.75 million against the salary cap. That means the combined cap hit of the Vikings’ two safeties will be $22.15 million.

Harris tweeted this out on Wednesday.

Harris, signed by the Vikings as an undrafted free agent out of Virginia in 2015, tied for the NFL lead with six interceptions last season in 14 games. He also had an interception in the Vikings’ opening-round playoff victory over the New Orleans Saints last season.