Anthony Harris said he intends to be back with the Vikings in 2020, and the 28-year-old safety added he plans to remain in Minnesota for years to follow.
The NFL’s leader in interceptions last season wrote on social media Sunday that he will return. The Vikings placed a franchise tag on him in March to prevent him from becoming an unrestricted free agent, and announced Monday morning that he signed the tender.
There had been speculation that the Vikings were doing so as a formality before trading him. But instead, Harris is set to make $11.4 million in 2020 by accepting his franchise tender.
“Since arriving in Minnesota with uncertainty as an undrafted free agent in 2015, I have accomplished my dream of playing in the NFL going from practice squad, to making the active roster, to becoming a full-time starter, to leading the league in interceptions,” Harris wrote on Twitter and Instagram.
“During the past five years, Minnesota has become home and is where I want to continue to develop as a player having only scratched the surface!
“Although it has been a strange offseason, time spent in isolation with family has been refreshing and energizing. This is just one step in God’s plan for me and my family.
“I will let my agents and the Vikings work toward long-term certainty in Minnesota, but I am excited to be back for the 2020 season.”
Harris, who had six interceptions during the regular season and also picked off New Orleans’ Drew Brees in the playoffs, is only the third player tagged by the Vikings since 2000.
They hadn’t used the franchise tag since 2011, when they placed it on linebacker Chad Greenway before signing him to a long-term deal. They also used it on fullback Jim Kleinsasser in 2003.
The Vikings lost cornerbacks Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander in free agency. They drafted three cornerbacks — Texas Christian’s Jeff Gladney in the first round (31st overall), Cameron Dantzler of Mississippi State in the third and Harrison Hand of Temple in the fifth.
The Vikings also took two safeties, Josh Metellus of Michigan (sixth round) and Brian Cole of Mississippi State (seventh).
Harris became a starter in 2018, replacing injured Andrew Sendejo. The Vikings signed him as an undrafted free agent out of Virginia in 2015.
“I am continuing my focus on what it takes to be successful both as a team and an individual,” Harris wrote. “I am excited for the new challenges the 2020 season will bring, but I am most excited for the opportunity to bring a Super Bowl to Minnesota and the best fans in the country.”