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Bottom Line On Harris: We Don't Know

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Bottom Line On Harris: We Don't Know

I've been inundated with emails and replies on Twitter asking what my "position" is on the release of Al Harris, so I thought I'd make a nice one-stop-shop of a post I can direct people to.

Was it a surprise to learn late Sunday night/early Monday morning that the Packers planned on releasing Harris? Not really. I understand the emotional component - we fans love Al Harris. How can we forget his asking the doctors to remove his spleen after the Dallas game in 2008 so that he could return against Tampa Bay the next week? The man wants to play football the way a toddler won't be denied a favorite toy.

So it is understandable that Harris, admittedly caught off guard when Ted Thompson told him they were leaning toward releasing him, feels betrayed by Thompson and McCarthy.

I found the below the most telling quote from Harris:

They were definitely leading me on, telling me something else. I just didn't think Ted and Mike would do that. I thought they would be a little more straight forward with me. They had me going home and studying and things like that and they already knew their plans.

I think there's probably some truth to this, no matter what McCarthy says at the podium to the contrary. But I also believe McCarthy when he says they handled the situation as professionally as possible. As usual, there are three sides to every story - Harris' side, the team's side, with the truth no doubt lying somewhere in the middle.

Now, it's one thing for Harris to be distraught. This is his livelihood and he has every right to be upset. But what I don't understand are fans (and lets face it, some media members) blowing this up to be some kind of huge conspiracy and/or blunder. Packer fans have not seen Al Harris play football since the 49er game last year. The Packers have watched Harris practice the last three weeks. I know McCarthy said this was not a "physical decision" - and we all know how honest and forthright football coaches are in press conferences.

I wanted, more than I can express, for Al Harris to retire a Packer. It's not going to happen and that makes me sad. But I refuse to vilify the Packers for cutting ties on a 36 year old cornerback who completely shredded his knee last year. Yes, the rehab videos at the National Football Post were a fantastic look inside Harris' fight to return to the field. But working out and playing football, especially a hyper-reactionary position like defensive back, are two very, very different things.

If Harris signs with another team and plays lights out, then I'll question the Packers decision. But right now, I need to have a little faith in the people who have watched Harris the last three weeks and determined the team is better off without him.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (98) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

jeremy's picture

Al Harris loved being a Packer and we all loved him too. I've been in the same position he is in now, having to leave a job I didn't want to leave, and I felt the feelings of betrayal; even though I knew the fact of betrayal didn't exist.

Good Luck Al!

PackersRS's picture

If BOTH Tramon Williams and Sam Shields aren't performing like they are, Al Harris isn't released.

If we don't have such shortage of bodies at the front 7, Al Harris isn't released.

PackerAaron's picture

"If BOTH Tramon Williams and Sam Shields aren’t performing like they are, Al Harris isn’t released." - totally agree with this.

hyperRevue's picture

But why is it just a matter or Tramon and Shields? People talk like Harris would be getting his starting gig back. Or automatically be made the nickel back. I don't get why either of those things were true. Couldn't he have been a great dime back? Or just extra depth at a vital position?

Of course, the above post is all based on him being healthy, which is a huge unknown at the moment. I take Aaron's position and trust TT, but I just don't get all the talk focusing on Tramon and Shields.

PackersRS's picture

Show me one team in the league were the dime back doesn't play special teams.

Now consider that our special teams have struggled mightly for the past 3 years.

hyperRevue's picture

I'm sure I can't, but I don't see how that really matters. Lee and Underwood and Bush would still be on the roster and playing special teams like they've been doing all year.

PackersRS's picture

Then it comes the "short on DL" factor.

What team in sane mind would activate 3 CBs for the sole purpose of ST play?

With Harris on the team, they lose one ST play or one linemen. With the way the secondary has been playing, they can't afford that.

hyperRevue's picture

Yeah, okay, that makes sense.

andrew's picture

shields could play ST...

PackersThad's picture

But what about McDonald...what is he doing. I would rather have Harris be inactive for the next few weeks and cut McDonald, than to just cut Harris.

As long as Shields and Tramon are playing well, Harris stays inactive. But I do not think that come December, you could say that starting Underwood or Bush in the dime would be better than having a rested Harris. I think that is my biggest issue with this.

Of course, you could respond by saying, that Harris may be too proud to ride the bench, but if that's the case, I guess we will see in the next few weeks if he plays capable...not even lights out, but just capable.

hyperRevue's picture

Thad - but the issue arises when you activate Harris. If they kept him inactive, well, then it's pretty pointless to have him on the roster anyway.

But when they do activate him for a game, it's going to be at the expense of someone who plays ST.

PackersRS's picture

every DB on our team, except for Woodson, plays ST. Tramon does, Shields does. Nick Collins does. Charlie Peprah does.

Thad: hyperRevue nailed it. Talent alone, Harris makes the 53 AND the 45. But overall productivity, he doesn't. McDonald is never active. Do you keep Al Harris and his contract, with his age, and keep him inactive? For insurance, in an area where we're excelling? That would be IMHO a terrible decision. We can't afford that luxury, not with other areas on the team struggling with talent and depth.

bogmon's picture

My personal feeling on this(knowing Al Harris the best that a longtime fan possibly can)is that

A)Harris would have been too proud to just sit as 'depth' on the roster given all the work he's done and his history with this team.

B)TT knew how Harris felt about his status as a Vet ; aware of his ability to play more bump and run style gave him the opportunity to continue his career as a STARTER somewhere else.

Al Harris was never going to be a major part of this defense ever again.
Too slow to play Nickel or dime.

redlights's picture

I can see your point, and agree. I just thought that a)there would be someone else on the team that could have been left go, instead; or b)get a 7th from Detroit or ? (anyone besides MN) in trade. Make it conditional or whatever, but dictate his future to a greater extent.

MM had him studying because he would not have been cut if there had been a different injury. can't have him being activated and not know the playbook.

Jose's picture

trade deadline passed about 3-4 weeks ago

Erik's picture

Can't trade, deadline has passed.

Jay's picture

There are a lot of factors at work here. Harris, in the view of TT & MM, must not be enough of an upgrade in talent to sacrifice the developmnt of their young DBs, especially the emergence and growth of a very athletic Sam Shields. Age, the severity of the injury, the fact that the Defense is playing pretty good football contributed to the decision as well. Throw in the uncertainty about how Harris would handle being the dimeback on this team and what it would mean in the locker room & the fact that he could contribute little to special teams. When thought about logically, it's almost a perfect storm of circumstances that were working against Harris.

I appreciate his time in a Packer uniform and wish him the best!

James Rarick's picture

I fully agree with you Jay. This says more about the people they have. If they signed Harris, who would they cut? With the play of Shields, Harris became expendable, and the future brighter.

BTW, this is exactly what McCarthy said. It was not Harris' play, but the future is bright with what they have.

stevelknievel's picture

I've had my ups-and-downs with Al. Fact is he plays a somewhat antiquated style of DB. His physical "bump" defense often resulted in a slue of penalties, the least of which (and most annoying) was the Illegal Hands To The Face. How many times did that cost us a stop last year? Half-dozen is an estimate. Don't get me wrong: Al Harris is the shit. He's a Packer Hall of Famer in my book.
But his inability to truly tackle (he's resorted to the "ride him down from behind like a rancher tackling a bull calf" technique) and maybe Tramon is just a better, faster, stronger corner at this point. Ain't nuthin' wrong with that.
Good luck (with anyone but the Vikings), Al.

- SP.

JerseyPackFan's picture

A year or two ago Sports Illustrated did a poll asking NFL players who are the worst tacklers and Al Harris was ranked highest. I believe the number was 32%.

PkrNboro's picture

I agree.

He tended to butt-pinch/tickle someone to the sidelines,
or mount/ride someone out-of-bounds (as someone mentioned earlier...)

RockinRodgers's picture

It's sad to see Al go, but he would have been buried on the Packers depth chart.

Achiever's picture

People forget that he was losing a step even BEFORE his injury...

I applaud this move. Is it sad? Yeah, it's always sad when one of our Packers heroes has to move on. But the "Youth Movement" going on for the past few years is definitely taking the Packers in the right direction for the future.

Ryeguy812's picture

Al can still come back and sign a 1 day contract and retire a Packer.
I'll miss him, but at some point we've all been saying that eventually we need to find some younger DBs to start taking the banner and Williams and Shields are doing that.

JerseyCheese's picture

Great post Aaron. Do you know of any player or players we have released before and it wound up bitting us in the butt?

I don't think Favre falls in that category because I for one feel like Rodgers is better than him.

Darren Sharper (obvious), Marco Rivera played ok with the Cowboys and Mike Wahle played very well with the Seahawks. Anyone else?

hyperRevue's picture

Jon Ryan, of course.

But it is a good point. There are guys like Vonta Leach and that DT who played on the Colts last year. But I don't think the Packers really miss either of those guys.

(And Wahle went to the Panthers first.)

andrew's picture

the disposal of sharper was due to his risky play.. he blew coverage 3 or 4 times before he would get his INT dont get me rong.. hall of fame guy loved him as a packer but they made the right decision the saints have made sharper prosper because they set their secondary up aroudn him and give him very little coverage responsibilities so he can free wheel and make his big plays. not something the packers would have been willing to do with him i dont believe...
so i dont think sharper being released counts as biting us in the butt we would not have changed our defensive secondary simply to better suit sharpers style of play at safety with harris and woodson getting beat deep occasionally (more so for harris) due to being aggressive and jumping routes. he woudl have hurt more than he would have helped

Zub-a-Dub's picture


Jer's picture

They just had Rob Demovski on 107.5 the fan here in Green Bay and HIS take on it seemed to be that with Al Harris being a very difficult player to deal with (I didn't realize this), that he wouldn't likely accept his role as the #4 CB on the team. That the team likely feared his lack of playing time could cause him to be a distraction in the lockerroom.

PackerAaron's picture

I have been talking about that the last few days as well. Fans (and again, some media members) love to say "Oh you have to keep him around for depth" - that's all well and good, but Al Harris does not want to be "depth".

hyperRevue's picture

Since I just said this above, part of me wants to say "Who cares?"

Of course if he's going to be cause trouble then that's probably not worth it. But does Harris have a history of being a malcontent? I really don't know.

D.D. Driver's picture

I think this is right. I never met Harris, but he has come across as a player that would not handle a demotion very well.

If that is true, cutting him was the only option.

longtimefan's picture

Aaron I have said same thing...Al said it himself he lost his starting job to injury.

That says to me, the Packers firmly believe Tramon is better ( who doesnt at this point?)

So where does Al belong then considering he doesnt play special teams.

The coaches raved that he is better then he was before the injury.

But something doesnt add up..

On waivers is he going to have to pass a physical for a new team?

DaveK's picture

MM and TT didn't just go bat sh-t crazy this week. You just don't cut quality CB's in this league because they don't play ST's or you want develop Nick McDonald, Robert Francois, or Diyral Briggs. As always, they made a football decision that Al Harris wasn't going to be a good enough player going forward to justify a roster spot. It is disappointing and surprising but I trust their judgement. And Aaron is exactly right. If Harris goes on to play lights out for someone else then we can sure criticize them for a very poor post-injury evaluation of Harris.

I think what irks a lot of fans is the coach speak. They want a honest explanation. Fans think they deserve to be privy a complete and honest explanation. But, TT and MM just don't disparage players to justify a decision to fans or the media. If they cut him because they felt like he just wasn't good enough to be on the roster you will never hear that from MM and TT. You'll instead hear generalities like "There were a lot of factors" or "we crossed the Rubicon" or "We did what is the best interest of the Packers". It's just how they roll and I think players respect that.

PackersRS's picture

Neither one of the players you mentioned are gameday actives.

You keep Al Harris and his contract on the roster and doesn't activate him?

hyperRevue's picture

Yeah, that's the problem I kept running into. I kept thinking of his place on the 53-man roster, not the 45-game-day active.

bomdad's picture

Brilliant job of manipulating the public opinion by Al and Jack Bechta, intentional or not. I loved watching those rehab videos and the music was contageous. If this were somebody like the Lions, he would have created enough fan support to get brought back for $2-3 million a year. But alas, he does not factor into ticket sales or TV ratings for the Packers. Its just too much to pay a dime back, and unfair to Tramon and Shields that are ahead of him. There is still a possibility that he can clear waivers and re-sign for less as a free agent, remote as it seems.

And the Packers record prior his injury was what 4-4? And since 13-5?

lebowski's picture

No way in hell does he come back here for less money to be the dime back.

Chuck's picture

It's hard to take, but it would have been just as hard watching Al come in as the dime back.

Ted does what needs to be done, like him or not.

My next biggest roster moves to watch are the LB, at the end of the year. Bishop/Barnett, Hawk/Chillar and Poppinga, I would bet only 2 of 5, maybe 3 will be back. Which ones? Right now I'm kinda liking the Bishop/Hawk combo, it's hard to argue the job they're doing. 2 years Barnett has been on IR. He just doesn't seem as stout for an ILB as Hawk and Bishop. What happened to Chillar? I just don't see him sticking to TE's like before?

PackersRS's picture

If Chillar stays and Bishop/Hawk/Barnett don't, I'm freaking pissed.

Chillar is BY FAR the worst ILB on the team. BY FAR.

Zub-a-Dub's picture

I agree with Hawk and Bishop, Bishop stays and gets a contract. Hawk on the other hand is an interesting poker game that will take up weeks of stories in the off season, unless TT and Hawk's agent get a new contract done before the end of the season. Hawk's house up for sale is significant.

How much is Hawk worth? How much does Hawk/agent think he is worth? What does the rest of the 31 teams think he is worth?

If Hawk forces his current contract, TT has to cut him. I can see Hawk leaving the Packers even if they want to keep him by being out bid by a Jerry Jones type.

Chillar stays because he is under contract and has an injury excuse. Barnett will be interesting based on how they feel about Bishop and what happens with Hawk.

JohnRehor's picture

I was surprised, but not shocked, when he was released. He is attempting to come back from a devestating knee injury, and the ability to run and pivot is crucial to play. In that respect I understand the decision-if he is still injured makes perfect sense

The part that I do question a little is the faith in the current CBs. There is no denying Woodson and Williams (best cb on the team by far this season in my opinion) but Shields is still a rookie, Underwood is unproven still, and Lee is unproven and hurt. I would like to think Harris could have provided depth at this position, but the current staff must feel the band of rookies and 2nd year pros offer more than a vet attempting a comeback like Harris would.

Whatever the case, I wish him well and look forward to his return to Green Bay in the future for his well deserved enshrinement in the Packers Hall of Fame

Ken's picture

I guess if he's ready to play as he suggests, letting him go is prefferred treatment to placing him on IR, where his career would essentially go up in smoke. GMs aren't jumping for what be a 36-year old CB who hadn't played in 21 months.

bomdad's picture

Its been around 12 months.

packsmack25's picture

He was saying if they had IR'd him, it would have been 21....

keeley2's picture

Lost in all the emotional hand-wringing is the dollars and cents aspect of this decision. When MM says it's not for "physical reasons", that's nothing more than code for "hey, if we don't have to pay an injury settlement, then why would we"?

Zub-a-Dub's picture

The business side of football is greatly underestimated by fans.

Shields is cheap, working for an undrafted walk on salary compared to Al's salary. Same with Williams who is still under his rookie contract.

So on game day do you bench Al while making all that money while the players ahead of him play for far less?

Bottom line, Al did not fit as of Nov. 2010. His salary was to high, his pride (true professional at the highest level), and the team chemistry would not allow him to sit the bench or be one of the players not making the 45 roster.

nerdmann's picture

"To which I can direct people." You participle is dangling.
Fact is Al has been breaking down. Last year he shredded his knee and the year before that he ruptured his spleen. Dude ain't getting any younger. Plus, our young guys can play.
Al has gotten lit up in big games in recent years. In big games against big WRs. Plaxico in the NFCC and TO in that game against Dallas where Rodgers came off the bench after Favre's injury.
Both Tramon and Shields are playing lights out.

CEA's picture

As usual I disagree with you, Aaron Nagler.
"I think there's probably some truth to this, no matter what McCarthy says at the podium to the contrary. But I also believe McCarthy when he says they handled the situation as professionally as possible."
So which is it, you partially believe Harris and you partially believe McCarthy. You think there is truth to both sides, but then you, as many of you kool-aid drinkers do, contradict all of that and finish by saying, but I believe McCarhty when ha says they handled the situation as professionally as possible!
Really. Waiting until almost the last minute and during a bye week while the rest of the team is out of town, i.e. all the veterans who might be a bit disturbed of how this was handled??
You honestly think that was as professional as possible?? Again I totally disagree. And Al Harris turns 36 in December. Just a little fact you might want to note.
For one you give way too much credit and trust to a group who hire Ari Fleischer (SP?) to handle the spin of the Farve fiasco, and who wanted to offer him (Favre) $25 million over ten years to stay quiet and do PR for the Packers.
The reason Al Harris was let go was money. That is it. Bargain Basement Ted didn't want to pay the remainder of Harris's salary. They could have waited until the end of the season to have released him. It would have cost that much and he could have played nickel or the seldom used dime package. He wasn't going to win the starting CB position back from Williams, but with all the injuries and the presence of a former pro bowl veteran it surely couldn't have hurt the rest of the season. They have room on the roster and Starks looks to be headed for IR (another brilliant injured draft pick). We have all seen how many injuries we have had all ready. If or maybe I should say when someone else goes down on defense certainly seems reasonable to have someone like Al Harris in the rotation. Underwood has disappeared from view, Lee, a former second round pick, has been injured two of three seasons and is last on the depth chart, Bush is primarily a special teams player, not a great corner. And Shields this years TT poster boy. Well, if his play the other night was the deciding factor, seems pretty flimsy to me. John Kitna and the 1-6 now 1-7 Cowboys?? Sure Shields has been very serviceable, but good corners don't just come out of nowhere. Let's face it, Shields has only been playing the position for not even two full seasons. The added pass rush of Clay Mathews has helped everyone in the secondary, (which also would have helped Al Harris), and Shields has not been truly tested or picked upon by the best qb's in the NFL. And he has missed some games due to injury. Fact of the matter is A. Harris was a more expensive option, had not been truly tested against game time competition (so who knows where his knee was, some feel it takes over a year to really come back from that type of injury and others have come back sooner with good results) and they have been able to fill gaps all year with cheaper less experienced players. I do not think it was professionally handled, and yeah, for a guy who lacerated his spleen, then had it removed so he could come back and play for your team is a guy above all else that deserves being treated with more respect than TT and MM gave him. If that one game against Dallas was the deciding factor, then what a joke. What was the point in not cutting him at the beginning of the season? The real deciding factor will be the playoffs. That is when the best qb's rise to the top and will go after Shields. Capers will have to do his best to cover up that weekness. Veteran presence is good to have in your locker room, even if it were only for eight more regular season games. TT rarely seems to think so.

hyperRevue's picture

Um. If he goes unclaimed (which is likely considering the health question marks) the Packers are still on the hook for his salary.

So, yeah, so much for that theory.

PackerAaron's picture

No they are not, actually. They are free of his salary no matter what.

hyperRevue's picture

Oh? (dammit. haha)

Why is it different for Harris?

PackerAaron's picture

No idea - remember thinking it was odd. But Silverstein wrote it yesterday:

The Packers will clear the books Harris' $2.5 million base salary this year and another $2.95 million next year. Harris enters the waiver system even though he's a vested veteran because the trading deadline has passed, so any team can make a claim on him and take on his contract.

hyperRevue's picture

Something to do with the PUP? Some sort of injury settlement?

PackerAaron's picture

That's it - he never practiced and was on PUP. If you are on the roster Week One your salary is guaranteed. As he was never on the roster, they don't have to pay.

PackerAaron's picture

"You honestly think that was as professional as possible?" - Um, to hold on to a player coming off a devastating injury to get as clear a view as possible before making a decision? Yes, that is called being professional.

And I love the "Clay Matthews has made this secondary" stance. Did you notice that Matthews' one sack against the Cowboys was a coverage sack? Of course you did.

CEA's picture

Are you at all sane? Are saying having a pass rushing specialist who leads the league in sacks hasn't had any effect the secondary?? Have you ever even played football? My guess from the state would be NO.

PackerAaron's picture

Yes I have. Quarterback actually.

And of course I'm not saying that. At all. But you make it sound like Ahmad Carroll and Joey Thomas are back there - Charles Woodson and Tramon Williams are pretty freekin' good.

CEA's picture

I did not say anything about Woodson or Williams and don't disagree. What I was saying was the added pressure by Mathews has helped the secondary, which Shields has benefitted from as well. I disagree things were handled as professional as possible and am of the opinion keeping Al Harris for the rest of the season would have been worth the cost considering injuries, unproven rookies, and trying to make a playoff run. That is what I am saying. But since I don't agree with you and have my own opinion you blast me with your typical smartass criticisms, like your "of course you did," comment.

PackerAaron's picture

I "blast" you with it? Dude! You wrote a huge post about what a "Kool Aid drinker" I am. How am I blasting YOU?

PackerAaron's picture

Also, you say: "I disagree things were handled as professional as possible" - this is the whole point of my post. How on EARTH can you make that determination? Were you there during the meetings? Did Mike and Al call you? We don't know a thing except what we're told. I'm inclined to give the people who watched Harris play football the last three weeks and made the determination to move on the benefit of the doubt.

CSS's picture

Are you at all capable of reading the english language? He didn't dispute WHAT you said, only pointed out that the one Matthews sack happened under circumstances the exact OPPOSITE of what you're railing about.

Get over your rightous indignation.

Zub-a-Dub's picture

Secondary has done fairly well considering they have played without Mathews, don't get me started about the defensive line injuries, a committee approach for the other OLB position, and the issues with their ILBs

I don't think this years secondary job has been easier than last year, if anything harder.

Secondary has done more for this defense than the front 7.

Thats where I think MM and TT say don't fix something thats not broken, especially if the price tag is expensive with risk (age/injury/has not played)

bomdad's picture

If you read the beat reporters, they all said they think the news was delivered to Al on Friday or Saturday, well before the Monday deadline. Al was not seen on at Lambeau on Sunday.

PackersRS's picture

If any of the CBs we have get injuried during the 3 game span that Harris was practicing, and he's released before that, both MM and TT look like fools.

Harris stayed as insurance, up until the last minute. It was GREAT football decision.

CSS's picture

Anybody doing a 'factually inaccurate count' on CEA? Just this post, overall inanity would produce a count too high to fathom....

PkrNboro's picture

Why don't you take your own advice:
"Get over your rightous [sic] indignation." ??

NOBODY really knows what the hell is going on.
NOBODY really knows all the facts. So it's all "opinion" -- usually with an interesting take, or two, on the subject at hand.
Why can't you leave it at that?

I've noticed you have a real penchant for flaming on people, when you disagree with them.
Where does that get ya?

In the future, please start using your full name: narCiSSus...

CSS's picture

Yes, I do het carried away with conspiricy theorists that yell at the writers. I don't flame people that support their position, they often have a point. Opinion is a bit different than showing up screaming with nothing but bravado, bluster and bullshit.

Tarynfor 12's picture

Don't waste your time,as his retort says it all.

PkrNboro's picture

Jesus Christ !
that was one long-ass post...

sorta redefines "stream-of-consciousness"

PkrNboro's picture

weird... this was a response to CEA's initial multi-page "comment"...
...not sure how it ended up here.


Tarynfor 12's picture

The end will justify the reason for this move.Keeping an "aged and less abilitied player" at the expense of younger,expanding players is detrimental for the now and tomorrows of Green Bay.

I'm estactic the TT and MM are not caught in the sympathy and afraid to make the cuts of long time players.I will also say again that DD is not long for this club.His extension was IMO,a signing only due to the insecurity at WR concerning JN and JJ,but DD has not shown he can dictate his spot even with the inconsistant play of JJ or JN.

I know that many are screaming the how dare you say that of DD,but fact is fact and we are need to move on and someone else will carry the torch for DD as he has for many years.

Now if I can only grasp why Bigby is still here. But I'm sure many will tell me.

PkrNboro's picture

because he's younger than Harris?
because he's cheaper than Harris?
because he's got dreadlocks like Harris?

I don't know.
What was the question ?

packsmack25's picture

Harris was guilty of a lot of bad in this clip:

AND this clip:

And then was hurt for large portions of 2008 and 2009. The guy is not the same guy he was when he was making Pro Bowls. Period.

Ruppert's picture

I just can't get enough of such clever cliches as "kool-aid drinkers" and "Bargain Basement Ted!" MORE! MORE!

davyjones's picture

Sometimes I think Aaron or Brian write some of this drivel themselves just to stir it up. No one could possibly actually believe that sh1t could they?? Why are they even on a Packer site if they do??

Aaron/Brian, please tell me my conspiracy theory is correct & there is no one within the Packer world who could possibly think like CEA...please, oh, please, say it ain't so.

PackersRule's picture

It's not about the money - it's about the numbers. A team can only have so many players for each position. I have to these type of cuts and the worst person doesn't allows get cut.

This is more about how strong the Packers are at this position. I remember a few years ago when they had no one but the two starters.

I am a big Al Harris fan. I hope the Packers give him a position within the org after he retires. I would drive to GB to see him.

ppabich's picture

even if it is about money, is that necessarily a bad thing? whats wrong with cutting a player that is owed almost $6 mill, if you don't think he will produce to those standards.

And are we sure his style of play fit the capers system?

Glorious80s's picture

With the injury situation as it's been, he may be back at some point. Who can say?

CSS's picture

Always a possibility. Didn't the Saints bring Mike McKenzie off the streets last year during the stretch run to the Super Bowl?

PackerAaron's picture

They did - and then cut him a few weeks later.

WoodyG's picture

KGB .... William Henderson .... Al Harris ..... There will no doubt be more ..... Younger, faster, stronger, & healthier has to be the emphasis ...... Sometimes it comes back to bite you but odds are still in your favor ......

CEA's picture

As usual Aaron you make such a ridiculous response. How on Earth do I know, I guess the same way on Earth you know. I read the newspapers and follow the Packers with as much passion as you. The only difference is I disagree with you and your post. The whole thing revolves around how it was handled, i.e. "as professional as possible." IMO it was not handled as professional as possible. I do not believe as you do. I do not believe the coaching staff or management had to wait this long to make that decision. I do not think the way he practiced in the last three weeks was the deciding factor. If they thought he couldn't play, then he couldn't play. Why wait at all. Cut him three weeks ago. And if they needed someone else to fill in due to injury they have players on the practive squad. Bring them up. Fact is I was not in the room and nor were you. Your post is your opinion and I made a response to your opinion. I felt inclined to do so.

PackerAaron's picture

As usual CEA you dig your heels in when you have been proven wrong. Cheers.

CEA's picture

Proven wrong? By oppinion? I see. Face it packer fans. I disagree. If he was insurance fine, but if they didn't think he could play, or was too big of a risk why even keep him for insurance? Doesn't sound like much insurance. under the same reasoning Mark Tauscher should be let go immediately. He had the same injury. Now he is week to week. He has not played the last three games. Bulaga is playing in his absence and Tauscher might not get his job back when he is healthy. He is an aging veteran. They drafted to tackles in last years draft and have T.J Land to fill in on the left and right. Sounds familar. I guess he should be released as well.

PackerAaron's picture

You saying that Tauscher's injury is "the same" as Harris' says everything I need to know.

Zub-a-Dub's picture

MM has clearly said this was not about his ability to play.

PkrNboro's picture

Bottom line, the Packers delayed the decision to their advantage -- which simply makes "business" sense (for the Packers). In many circles this could be construed as the model of "professional" behavior. Had something catastrophic happened in the 3 week period after PUP, then the Packers could have pulled the trigger on the activation of Harris.

Was the Packer's action in the best interests of Harris -- likely not, nor should it be. The Packers have to look out for the Packers. When a player holds out, and doesn't honor his contract -- is that in the best interest of the team? is that honorable? The player has to look out for the player.

Ruppert's picture

No, the staff didn't HAVE TO wait this long to make the decision. But why wouldn't they wait? Don't tell me we should have just let Al go earlier so he could go wherever he wanted because somehow "we owed it to him." I got so sick of the "we owed it to Favre to just release him" crowd that I never want to hear such nonsense again.

They waited because it was in the best interests of the team. Al was insurance in case 21, 38, 37, etc. blew out a knee against the Vikings, Jets, or Cowboys. But they didn't. It's business. It's life. Cry me a river.

WoodyG's picture

"The best interests of the team" has to rule ..... The Pats & Steelers are prime examples of how football business has to be conducted ..... Evidently, so are the Packers ..... Kudos to TT/MM for not being afraid of the tough decisions.

hyperRevue's picture

And he goes unclaimed.

hyperRevue's picture

Whoa. Starks has been activated. Francois cut.

Ruppert's picture

Au Revoir, Francois.

PkrNboro's picture

...that's Franch, ain't it ??

foundinidaho's picture

Whatever the reality, Al was a class act and I'll miss him.

longtimefan's picture

People still thinking the "bribe" was just that? Yet claim to read every article in support of their team?

I guess they didnt read the Andrew Brandt article that said he went to Bob Harlan in Jan before the Giants NFCCG with the deal for Brett.

Then to have the sack to blame Ari Fliecher for the spin on things? But fails to understand the Brett camp spun things just as much if not more.

Gawd I can't wait till the book comes out

dullgeek's picture

I really don't think you can simplify this down to the question of can he or can't he play. Yes the Packers saw his post-operative skills and none of us did. And I believe them when they say that it's not a physical thing.

But I think finances play a huge role in this. Can he still play? I have no reason to disbelieve MM's assessment. But can he be on the team when they have to absorb his salary? Probably not. Is his price too high for a dime back? Probably.

This is the only way that I can reconcile the idea that it's not a physical thing AND favoring Pat Lee and Jarrett Bush over Harris. If Harris can still play he's got to be better than Lee & Bush.

It's one thing to say that Harris can still play. It's another thing to determine that his play isn't worth his price. I think that's what's going on.

CSS's picture

Call me cynical, but in a non-capped year (that the Packers have taken advantage of when you look at front-loading recent contracts) I have a hard time believing it was a cost saving measure. It's complicated, but it seems like risk, diminishing skill-set and a willingness (lack thereof) of a previous starter to accept a diminishing role.

As for the coaching staff giving lip-service to his health, I take it with a grain of salt. Not calling McCarthy a liar, but every coach/GM will stand at the podium and give lip-service to a parting player. It's the PC thing to do when dealing with NFL player egos. Staff/GM's don't want to get a bad rep from future FA's by badmouthing parting players.

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