The Eagles entered free agency looking to shake up their cornerback situation, and while they added Pro Bowler Darius Slay in a blockbuster trade with the Lions, things almost took a different route.
Chris Harris Jr., 30, who signed a two-year deal with the Chargers, said in a podcast appearance Tuesday that he'd narrowed his free agency choices down to two teams: the Eagles, and the Saints.
Then Los Angeles swooped in.
Here's his explanation of what happened, via the RapSheet + Friends pod:
Rapaport: How did you know the Chargers were gonna be in the mix?
Harris: Uh, I didn't, man. They kinda came out of nowhere at the end. It was kinda winding down to the Saints or the Eagles, and then (the Chargers) kinda popped up out of nowhere, and I felt that would be an even better fit for me.
Rapaport: Interesting. Because I was thinking, either the Raiders or the Eagles, in my mind those were kind of the teams to watch for you.
Harris later said that he valued both contract value and his fit on the team in negotiations, and cited the Raiders' desire to keep LaMarcus Joyner in their nickel corner spot as a potential fit problem in those talks.
You can listen to the full pod here.
That's a pretty interesting revelation from Harris, for Eagles fans. Harris is 30, but he's a solid enough corner who took a relatively inexpensive contract from the Chargers:
Per source, Chris Harris Jr LAC deal is 2 yrs, $17 mil.— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) March 19, 2020
2020: $7.5M sign; $2M base. Total: $9.5M.
2021: $2M roster (3rd day league yr, no guar); $5.5M salary (no guar). Total: $7.5M
Also up to $1.25M incentives each yr tied to play time/playoff/Pro Bowl so up to $19.5M. #9sports
Do the Eagles have other holes to fill? Absolutely. But putting Harris opposite Slay would probably make Eagles fans feel much better about watching Malcolm Jenkins leave the secondary.
Then, of course, you ask: do the Eagles even make the Slay trade if they sign Harris? Slay is obviously both better and younger, but Howie Roseman might not've felt the same squeeze to make a move at corner if he already had a free agent CB signing in the bag.
Or maybe he would've made the move anyway, and doubled down on asking the defense to win some games.
In any case, Harris remained in the AFC West and the Eagles got their man in Slay. But it's always fun to think about alternate universes.
Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.