The New England Patriots have had a peculiar approach to free agency. With pressing needs at linebacker, wide receiver and right tackle, running back is oddly the position that has seen the most movement in the early goings.
We suppose there’s a case to be made for the offensive line, but that has mostly revolved around outgoings considering Ted Karras (Bengals) and Shaq Mason (Bucs) are gone and the Pats have yet to bring in any outside reinforcements.
At running back, though, New England has not only re-signed James White, but they added versatile veteran Ty Montgomery to fill the void left by Brandon Bolden and Gunner Olszewski as a depth RB option and return specialist.
With Rhamondre Stevenson expected to take another leap after a promising rookie campaign, the Patriots’ RB room is set behind Damien Harris.
However, Harris was given a little scare during Thursday’s free agent activity. After the Falcons signed Damien Williams, the FOX Sports NFL Twitter account mistakenly included Harris’ name while conveying the news.
As you could imagine, Harris’ reaction was priceless.
Patriots RB Damien Harris had a hilarious reaction after it was mistakenly reported he signed with the Falcons.
This is both hilarious and reassuring. One one hand, Harris was probably left flabbergasted finding out he was heading to Atlanta. He’s entering the final year of his rookie contract, so the 2019 third-rounder likely thought he was traded … which would align with how the Patriots have gone about their business this offseason.
On the other hand, Harris’ heart dropping confirms his allegiance to New England. While Stevenson can seemingly grow into a three-down back, Harris’ tweet should give the front office more incentive to extend him.
After all, Harris was virtually unstoppable last season, setting career-highs in games played (15), carries (202), rushing yards (929) and rushing touchdowns (15), which finished tied for second in the entire NFL. Even better? He did it all while averaging an elite 4.6 yards per carry.
And credit to Harris’ agent, Ian Greengross, for taking FOX Sports NFL to task for their mistake. Was it intentional? Probably not, but you can’t be mixing up players’ names during free agency. A simple fact check would’ve led them to the fact that Harris is under contract, and it was Williams (a free agent) who signed with Atlanta.
The good news is Harris isn’t going anywhere and his tweet suggests he has no intention of leaving the Patriots anytime soon.