Packers to release Al Harris?

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Read here from jsonline. Interesting that this rumor appears to have been started by Al himself – who states in the article that each of the last few weeks he thought he’d be activated only to not get the call.Now he thinks his departure is imminent – because I believe tomorrow is the last day PUP guys can be activated.

My initial reaction to this – and the reaction that seems to be lingering – is that this is not a good idea. I know the NFL is a business and that sometimes “business decisions” have to be made. But that is exactly why I don’t like this: I think this is a bad business decision. I can’t pretend to know exactly what kind of shape Harris is in. And I am confident at this point that we have found a more than adequate replacement (Tramon is playing at or near Pro Bowl level, especially over the last few games). And, I realize Sam Shields has developed nicely and that our D overall appears to have balanced out and gotten its…stuff together.

But there are a few reasons why I wouldn’t drop him if I were TT/MM. First of all, having a smart veteran player on your roster at a position where injuries are somewhat common, who also happens to know a complex defensive system well, is an asset. Just like keeping Tauscher to now be a back-up for Bulaga makes sense. Unless Harris is way behind in his rehab (which we’ve been told is not the case), not only is it likely Harris could contribute positively if called upon, but he could mentor and help develop the younger guys – all while providing a stabilizing veteran leadership presence in the locker room. And his contributions don’t need to be as a starter – he could help on nickel/dime situation and/or special teams. Al Harris is by most accounts a popular player with other players. He has built a bond over his time here with other members of the defensive unit in particular. To release him at this point in the season after he’s worked his tail off all off-season to come back could fracture the team a bit because it won’t be a popular move. Add in there the threat that he could end up at a rival (like the Vikes…ugh) and the timing of all this just seems poor. And on a very basic level, I don’t think dropping Harris in favor of keeping some 53rd spot special teams scrub is an equal trade-off.

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10 Responses to “Packers to release Al Harris?”

  1. Malachi DeLorenzo Says:

    I agree that it would be a little ridiculous to release him at this point… I believe that at the very least he deserves a chance to show where he is at after this injury. I think its extremely near sighted to assume that we are all set in the secondary right now as an injury or two could hit us and we’d be kicking ourselves for getting rid of him. Its foolish. He’s been a spectacular performer and a great teammate for years. In addition, he is EXACTLY what a young team like ours needs if we reach the playoffs…. Keep the man, he earned it!!!

  2. CindyV Says:

    The Packers have released Al Harris and have posted it on their facebook page.

  3. Joe Says:

    I don’t like it, but I also don’t know all the details wrt to rehab, etc. Al’s text to Wilde says he has no hard feelings and that he lost his job due to injury.

  4. DaveK Says:

    We as fans are dealing with only a partial amount of information. Maybe it was pretty clear that Harris had lost a step and wasn’t going to be the same player. He did tear every ligament in his knee. TT and MM would never give that explanation to fans. They’ll simply thank him for his contribution and wish him luck in his next stop.

    But, I’ll be upset if this move isn’t because Harris just isn’t back to form. If this is a move because they think they are deep enough at CB or because Harris doesn’t play ST’s or Harris makes too much for his new role or they didn’t want to cut a developmental player then I think it is a big mistake. One, because they may really need another CB before the season is out. Two, the Vikings and Bears both really need help at CB.

    • 56coop Says:

      If you have’t read today’s MM presser at packers.com you should. Be prepared to be angry though. Pretty much says it’s because AL doen;t play ST’s. Big picture decision. NOt based on AL’S performance at all.

      Of course it could be an attempt to help Al get another team but obviously he’s gonna have to go through a try out.

      Sad day as a Pack fan.

      • DaveK Says:

        I am hoping MM and TT are full of sh-t about this and they just didn’t want to tell everyone that Al will never be the same player again. He gave a lot to the Packers and maybe listing other reasons was a way to part ways with dignity. You have to think if he was really back to form they’d find a spot for him or at least put him on IR so the Vikings/Bears couldn’t pick him up.

        But, if Harris catches on with another team and performs well I will be upset especially if that team is in the NFC North. They essentially cut him for Pat Lee….or a 3rd FB…or Nick McDonald.

  5. Inquiring Minds Says:

    Big time bummer.
    Al is a quality person and a big-time player. I was looking forward to seeing his return. Unbelievable that he made it back, after that knee injury. Blowing out his knee didn’t destroy his heart or his will.

    Al will catch on somewhere in the league – just hope it isn’t with some team where he can make us regret this day.

    “Proof is coming soon.”

  6. Ron LC Says:

    So long Al, thanks for all the effort. You are a class act. Let’s hope he is picked up by the Bears or Queenies.

  7. Packers to release Al Harris? « packergeeks | News On Trend Says:

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  8. CindyV Says:

    this just in: Al Harris will be going to Miami to play for the Dolphins.

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