Re-signing David Harris a costly but necessary move for Jets

A few thoughts on the New York Jets' re-signing linebacker David Harris:

1. The Jets overpaid, but they were in a tough negotiating position. With no heir apparent on the roster and no attractive options in free agency, and with Rex Ryan lurking in his new lair up in Buffalo, new general manager Mike Maccagnan had to pay a premium wage -- a three-year deal for $21.5 million, including $15 million in guarantees, according to a league source. A year ago, D'Qwell Jackson -- a linebacker of similar ilk -- landed a four-year, $22 million contract ($11 million in guarantees) with the Indianapolis Colts. In other words, Harris made out pretty well.

2. New coach Todd Bowles can go to work on the Jets' defense knowing the brain center of the unit, Harris, will be there to lead the way. That has to be a tremendous comfort to Bowles, who can concentrate on upgrading the secondary. Harris, who called the defensive signals for Ryan, is smart, tough and durable. He rarely misses a play, let alone a game. But he's 31, so you wonder when the wear-and-tear factor will start to take a toll. He's already suspect in pass coverage.

3. The size of the contract indicates the Jets still believe Harris can be a three-down linebacker. That'll be interesting to watch because Bowles has a different approach than Ryan, who always kept at least two linebackers on the field, even on passing downs. In Arizona, Bowles replaced all but one of his linebackers with defensive backs in sub packages. In fact, he played more dime (six DBs) than any team in the league. If the Jets turn Harris into a first- and second-down linebacker, they paid way too much.

4. Harris always said he wants to retire with the Jets, and this deal should give him that chance. He's as humble as they come, and he wasn't looking to be wined and dined by teams in free agency. Unlike some players, he's not all about the money. The Jets, with more than $50 million in cap room, made sure he didn't get a chance to sample another team's green. They've allowed too many homegrown players get away in recent years. They didn't let it happen with Harris.