Terms of the deal were not disclosed – though it probably won’t affect New Orleans’ salary-cap situation all that much. Only the top 51 salaries count against the cap, and Harris’ deal shouldn’t be significantly higher than a minimum-salary deal. The Saints decided not to tender Harris as a restricted free agent two weeks ago, which would have cost $1.54 million.
Harris, 26, struggled for the Saints last season when he was used as a left tackle for the first time in his career, replacing injured starter Terron Armstead for three-plus games. However, Harris has shown promise in the past as a backup right tackle and extra blocker in jumbo packages – roles that best suit the physical 6-foot-6, 300-pound lineman.
Harris could compete for the backup left tackle job again this year now that he has more experience. But one way or another, New Orleans needs improvement in that spot over last season, when Harris especially struggled in late-season losses to Carolina and Atlanta.
The Saints currently don’t have any other proven alternatives on the roster behind starting tackles Armstead and Zach Strief. It will be interesting to see if that becomes a priority for them in the draft.
Harris began his career as an undrafted free agent out of Fresno State in 2012. The Saints signed him off the Falcons’ practice squad early that season.