FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- In his most extensive comments about his feelings regarding the New York Jets surprisingly releasing him June 7, veteran linebacker David Harris used the words “blindsided” and “disrespect” in an interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio on Monday.
Harris, who spent the first 10 years of his career with the Jets and is now in his first year with the New England Patriots, said on SiriusXM NFL Radio: “They kind of blindsided me with the whole thing, being so late in the offseason, a week before minicamp. It came out of left field. It was more about the disrespect of the whole situation than anything else.
“But the Jets made their decision. I had to sit back and be patient and evaluate some things. A couple teams were inquiring about me, but then once the Patriots came into the picture, it was pretty much a done deal as soon as I found out they were interested in me.”
Harris’ agent had expressed similar thoughts at the time Harris was released, but the 33-year-old took the high road in a statement.
On June 25, the Patriots, one of the Jets’ top rivals, signed Harris to a two-year contract with a maximum value of $6.75 million. Harris said on SiriusXM NFL Radio’s “Movin’ The Chains” program that a late-night conversation with head coach Bill Belichick was the catalyst. Harris said Belichick asked if he would be interested in joining the Patriots, which he described as a feeling-out process because Harris had always been on the other side of the Patriots-Jets rivalry.
LB David Harris, in a Patriots practice jersey for the first time, draws a big crowd. pic.twitter.com/hdhpcaKaXe— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) July 27, 2017
Initially, Harris acknowledged that putting on a Patriots uniform took some getting used to.
“I grew up a Michigan fan, so wearing blue isn’t strange to me. It’s the red part,” he said with a laugh on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “But it was strange at first because I’ve always been on the other side of the field.
“It feels good. I couldn’t expect anything more. Everybody just works hard every day, with that winning attitude, and the culture is like no other than I’ve been a part of. I’m glad to be here, this late in my career and be around a bunch of great individuals. They are better people off the field.”
Harris also told SiriusXM NFL Radio that his wife Jiali and their daughters Ayla Sui and Jozi Ai have relocated to New England, with the family settling not far from where the Patriots play at Gillette Stadium.
“We found schools for the kids, everything is set up,” Harris said, before referring to himself as a transfer student because he joined the Patriots so late and sometimes has trouble finding his way around the team’s facility.