"I know my days are numbered here" Al Harris

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Cornerback Al Harris had just kept Anquan Boldin in check for the better part of 60 minutes Sunday but his post-game comments were tinged more with melancholy than joy.

"I know my days are numbered here," Harris said as he packed gear into his bag before leaving for the night. "I think this is my free-agent season."

Harris, who has been quiet since summer about his unhappiness over a contract that doesn't expire until after the 2009 season, was asked if he was playing for his future.

"Little of both," he replied after the 31-14 victory over the Arizona Cardinals. "I'm playing to help the team win but. . . ."

Harris knows that his financial window will close long before the six-year, $18.635 million deal that he signed in September 2004 expires. Earlier in the year, Harris and his agent reportedly asked the Packers for two roster bonuses worth a combined $5 million and some Pro Bowl incentives, but they didn't get very far.

The Packers have $7.52 million of space beneath the salary cap and are looking to extend the contract of one or more deserving veteran players before the end of the year. It remains to be seen if they'll give more money to a cornerback that will be 32 in December.

If they don't, it seems a distinct possibility that Harris might follow the lead of cornerback Mike McKenzie and wide receiver Javon Walker and attempt to force a trade.

Harris' cap salary will increase from $3.375 million this season to $3.575 million in '07. He's due a $500,000 roster bonus and $2.2 million base salary next year.

On Sunday, Harris was matched up against Boldin on every snap and played him nothing but tough.

"You saw Boldin on Monday night against Chicago running through DBs," defensive coordinator Bob Sanders said. "Today he matched up well against him. He's a true professional. You don't have to say anything to him."

Of the 11 passes thrown to Boldin, four were completed for 47 yards. He also drew a holding penalty on Harris on a third and 25.

"Not to take anything away from him," Harris said. "He gets the utmost respect from me. I think he's underrated."

Harris took Boldin all over the field whereas Charles Woodson covered Bryant Johnson and nickel back Patrick Dendy had Troy Walters.

Harris was asked if it might have been one of the finest games of his career.

"Hell no," he said. "How many catches did Torry Holt have? Three. How many did he have on me? One. (Donte') Stallworth. How many catches did he have? One. The guy last week, how many did he have?"

Harris was referring to Miami's Chris Chambers, who also was shadowed by Harris and finished with two catches for 29 yards.

"That's about six catches in four weeks maybe adding up to 50 yards," said Harris. "This is my scheme. There's no key or whatever. This is what I do. The fact they put me on him says a lot."

One reason Boldin hasn't seen much match-up coverage in the past was the presence of Pro Bowl wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. With Fitzgerald sidelined, the Packers felt confident leaving their best man-to-man player on Boldin.

Although Harris, who weighs 185 pounds, was giving up 38 pounds to Boldin, he played aggressively. It was in contrast to last week in Miami, where Harris missed four tackles and didn't appear all that interested in being physical.

"You're talking about tackles," Harris said. "We're talking about guys making catches. I'm not giving away strength. I can pump the bar 30 times at 225 (pounds). You haven't seen my body, huh?"

Harris broke up two slants for Boldin using perfect position and timing. All day, he mirrored Boldin so effectively that Matt Leinart decided not even to force balls to his primary target.

Late in the first quarter, when Boldin beat Harris deep but Leinart overthrew him 30 yards downfield, Harris said the only reason for the separation was a push-off by Boldin.

The only negative in Harris' inspired effort was the first-quarter short pass from Leinart that he should have intercepted but dropped.

"Oh my goodness," said Harris. "I just didn't adjust. You've got to make those plays, especially when you're on the guy you know they're going to throw the ball to."

It was the second easy interception botched by Harris in the span of three games. He has one interception.

"What separates Harris from the rest is that he is physical," Walters said. "He can get his hands on you and press you at the line."

Oh boy. :(
 

4packgirl

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i thought when he said something about 'have you seen my body?' that he was gonna take his shirt off & flex!

i know alot of you guys are in love with harris & i've kept quiet about him but now i'll tell you what i think. (excited, aren't ya?) harris is not a player my dad & i ever liked. we thought he got beat far too often & was always looking around for someone to blame.

him pointing out each & every play he defended in the past few games sounds alot like he's trying to sell himself to another team & perhaps grasping at straws.

i'm not saying i want him to go - just that i really never liked the guy & neither did my dad.

what do y'all think?
 
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4pack, IMO Harris is right up there with the most underrated players in the league.

A CB is one tough position, and you need confidence in yourself. He has shut his man down, and for someone who has his tools (IE lack of speed) the way he plays to stop the top WRs is more than surprising IMO.

Do I like him as a player? I do for his play on the field, and the fact that his contract situation hasn't led him to stop playing completely. However I really disagree with the way he has gone about getting more money.

I agree with you about him saying what he did, boasting if you will. The thing I find interesting is that he seems to think it is necessary for him to market himself. Harris has said this D scheme is suited for him. News flash: not everyone runs man to man.

Also, I'm surprised that he doesn't see how easy it would be for the Packers to force him to stay on the team, seeing as he has only about a 3.5 million cap charge. For a team that has the potential to be 20 million (pushing 25 million) dollars over the cap, that isn't a big amount.
 

jhensiak

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If the Pack wants to make a run in the next 1/2 years with Favre still around, give the man the $$$. I have also been guilty taking Harris for granted since the rest of the team has been down and his great play was not going to be the difference between winning and losing. Now that we can see the light at the end of the tunnel...keep him!!! The only guys better tham him are Pac Man, Champ, McAllister. Honestly, he has been a pain in the *** about $$$, but in this case he deserves it.
 

bozz_2006

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there's no way he's going to play out his contract though. it's just too rich. what can we do? i would LOVE to keep him around, but the way they structure these contracts... we'll see, i guess.
 

Bobby Roberts

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bozz_2006 said:
there's no way he's going to play out his contract though. it's just too rich. what can we do? i would LOVE to keep him around, but the way they structure these contracts... we'll see, i guess.

Actually, as already was pointed out, the contract is not too rich for the Packers to carry. Harris wants a raise. Unfortunately the way GB handled the McKenzie and then Walker situations, it's likely that if he complains loud enough then he'll be traded.

Al knows that his stock will never be any higher than it is right now. At age 35/36 (when his contract is up in GB) he will not get a big contract and likely will not even be playing. He sees how much Woodson is getting and he's the top CB on the team. Therefore he's using Woodson's contract as leverage to make more money know while he can.

As for not likely his approach, at least he's not holding out. In fact he's working hard and doing the best he can on the field. It would be nice if he could just work out a new deal behind the scenes, but maybe he tried that and was denied.

However this plays out, I hope that we continue to see Harris playing in GB for a few more years.

GO PACK GO!!!
 

millertime

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i'm sick of harris. he should know what happens when u complain in green bay. al is getting older and is not that quick anymore. i would rather keep barnett than harris. pacman is not better than harris. Harris is a good player, but not a probowler.
 

spardo62

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Harris is very good and has been underrated. That said, while he is still playing at a high level, you can see some signs of slippage and at a position where speed is necessary the drop could come very quickly.

The Packers are not dealing from a position of strength, as they are quite thin and/or old at DB.

Best case scenerio would be to give him a couple more years front loaded to reward him for what he has given the team the past several years, but would not be a killer financially to dump after next year if need be.
 

millertime

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out with the old in with the new. just kidding. the pack could probably forward some of his bonus. i think they should restructure with some incentives. he gets money for interceptions and not allowing tds
 

cheesey

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I have mixed feelings. Yes, last week he ran an interception in for a TD, BUT, had the WR not let the ball go through his hands, the WR would have had a good play. It wasn't like Harris was in great position, he was just lucky. Yesterday, he let a sure INT go right through his hands. I've seen WAY too much of that from him. Big players make those plays. They don't miss them that often.
I think he has over rated himself in his own mind.
Just my opinion.
The bad part is, we sure don't have anyone else that can step into the spot.
 

Heatherthepackgirl

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I say give Harris the money, we need to have "some" good veterins left on this team, I know eventually they all get replaced, but as long as they are playing well keep them..and Harris I believe is a great player so I say keep him....just my opinion..
 

jhensiak

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If the Pack wants to make a run in the next 1/2 years with Favre still around, give the man the $$$. I have also been guilty taking Harris for granted since the rest of the team has been down and his great play was not going to be the difference between winning and losing. Now that we can see the light at the end of the tunnel...keep him!!! The only guys better tham him are Pac Man, Champ, McAllister. Honestly, he has been a pain in the *** about $$$, but in this case he deserves it.

Sorry, I meant D Hall, not PAC MAN
 

gopackgo

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Oh, boy was exactly what I thought. I really hope our young CB's can step up their play. This is not a position we can afford to lose a decent player.
 

NDPackerFan

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I have mixed feelings. Yes, last week he ran an interception in for a TD, BUT, had the WR not let the ball go through his hands, the WR would have had a good play. It wasn't like Harris was in great position, he was just lucky. Yesterday, he let a sure INT go right through his hands. I've seen WAY too much of that from him. Big players make those plays. They don't miss them that often.
I think he has over rated himself in his own mind.
Just my opinion.
The bad part is, we sure don't have anyone else that can step into the spot.

Sorry cheesey but I think you're talking about Woodson here and not Harris.
 

tromadz

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get value for him while we can!

yeah get him out of here then. His attitude is horrible. It is obvious we're rebuilding, so lets let blackmon\dendy get more reps, and draft r sign some CBs in the offseason.

im tired of Al Harris and his pity parties.
 

DePack

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At 32 he's to old to give payday after this season...


Well Charles Woodson is 30 or 31 and got his big payday. Now you tell Harris to go play the #1 receivers man to man while Woodson plays the #2, but you're not worth the money Woodson makes? Doesn't make sense. Remember Harris will be 32 but for a few years with Philly he was just playing in nickel situations. He doesn't have the mileage or injury history that Woodson has on his body.

I believe Bobby said it earlier...yea you know what happens when you want more money or a trade in Green Bay....you get your wish. We have the money that we can give him NOW and it wouldn't hurt our cap # in the future at all. Pay the man the going rate.
 

Joebediah

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I think things will probably work in the end. He is by no means taking the McKenzie or Walker approach. Unlike McKenzie, Al isn't being distant or faking injuries to get off the field, he is trying his hardest. And unlike Javon, he isn't being a prick that says he hates the organization.

So far, it just seems like he is trying to work with the front office with little results and is expressing disappointment. It's easy to see how this matter can escalate, but it will probably just be overblown. Remember that ridiculous 1 or 2 day period where it seemed like Driver wanted to be traded?? That eventually was bogus.

I don't see why this can't be resolved like Driver's situation was.

BTW, many fans felt that we didn't spend enough of our cap, well is it so wrong to spend it on one of your own guys than an overpriced free agent? ( i'm not alluding to Woodson, i love woodson, just generally speaking)
 

PackFanInSC

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I have mixed feelings. Yes, last week he ran an interception in for a TD, BUT, had the WR not let the ball go through his hands, the WR would have had a good play. It wasn't like Harris was in great position, he was just lucky. Yesterday, he let a sure INT go right through his hands. I've seen WAY too much of that from him. Big players make those plays. They don't miss them that often.
I think he has over rated himself in his own mind.
Just my opinion.
The bad part is, we sure don't have anyone else that can step into the spot.


Sorry Cheesey, wasn't Woodson was the one with the Int for the TD -- not Harris? And, yes, it was luck to just go through the WR's hands.
 

spacecoastpkrfan

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Pay the man !!....he does deserve it. Just ask some of the premier receivers that he has faced and more than held his own against (ex. Chad Johnson or Anquan Boldin) They're probably a little more qualified to evaluate his abilities than we are.....
 

flapackfan

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Harris is very good. With him and Woodson back there we have a chance to compete defensively. Take either one of them out of the game for any big length of time and we wont be able to stop anyone defensively. We already are having big defensive problems We should find a way to keep Harris and get a good nickelback in free agency.

Im not saying break the bank for Harris, but if we can make him happy without messing up our salary cap, a happy player is a better player. Give him an incentive laden contract and we will see the best he has to offer for a few years. Otherwise, he might be disgruntled and maybe not prepare as hard and keep in shape and his play could be affected. So basically, either raise him, or trade him to the Broncos.
 

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