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David Harris Re-Signs with the Jets

'The Hitman' Declines to Test Free Agency Market, Will Continue to Anchor Green & White Defense


Updated, 4:05 p.m. ET

David Harris had several potential ports of call had he chosen to sail the free agency waters next week. But "the Hitman" decided to stay anchored right at home.

The eighth-year middle linebacker, defensive leader and tackling machine signed a new contract with the Jets today, six days before he could have become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his pro career.

"I could not be happier to announce that I have signed a contract extension with the New York Jets," Harris said this afternoon. "After hearing the plans and vision of Coach Bowles and Mike Maccagnan, there was no doubt I wanted to return, help win a Super Bowl with the Green & White, and retire a Jet. Thanks to everyone in Jets Nation."

Had Harris gotten to Tuesday unsigned, there were at least four former Jets who could have been involved in the bidding for his services: Rex Ryan, the new head coach with the Bills; Mike Pettine, his former defensive coordinator and the Browns head coach; Bob Sutton, once his linebackers coach and now with the Chiefs, and Mike Tannenbaum, the GM who traded up to take him 47th overall in 2007 and now in the Dolphins' front office.

But Harris won't meet up with any of them again except as opponents as he will continue to anchor the Jets defense, now being restocked by general manager Mike Maccacgnan and recalibrated by Todd Bowles, the former Cardinals defensive coordinator, and new coordinaror Kacy Rodgers, the former Dolphins defensive line coach.

Harris two months ago concluded one of his most impactful seasons since joining the Green & White. Needing two tackles in Game 15 against New England to reach 1,000 for his career, he stormed to those tackles on his first three plays, sacking Tom Brady for No. 1,000.

He had a strong last quarter of the season to finish with a career-high 150 tackles — marking the seventh season he's led our defense, all with at least 100 tackles. He has 1,019 for his career, and thus with the new contract he's in position to surpass Marvin Jones and Mo Lewis, Nos. 2 and 3 on the franchise's all-time tackle leaders list, as soon as by the end of the 2015 season.

A Look Back at David Harris' 8 Seasons in Green & White

Harris also tied his career high with 5.5 sacks and now has 32 sacks for his career. His 7.0 tackles at or behind the line of scrimmage gives him 87 in his eight Jets seasons.

He also broke up his first three passes of the year in the season finale at Miami, giving him 30 career PDs to go with his seven career interceptions. And he had strip sacks of Chicago's Jay Cutler and Miami's Ryan Tannehill, our only two strip sacks of the season.

Want more? David Harris committed one penalty this past season, an illegal contact at San Diego. He's had only 10 penalties marked off against him in his 129-game, 122-start career, which includes six playoff games.

Last, there is Harris' durability at his high-impact position. Despite taking a punishing hit to his shoulder from rookie teammate Calvin Pryor late in the Chargers game that had him on the team's injury report for the next seven games, he again started all 16 games. His 100 consecutive regular-season games started is the longest streak by an active NFL linebacker.



READ: Jets Sign Free Agent DE [Ronald Talleyinternal-link-placeholder-0]

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