5 ideal Harrison Smith landing spots, including the Dallas Cowboys

Author:
Sportsnaut

Star safety Harrison Smith has spent his first 12 NFL seasons with the Minnesota Vikings. The six-time Pro Bowler is a franchise legend.

It really is hard to imagine the former Golden Domer suiting up for any other team than the Vikings. But in today’s NFL, it’s becoming more of a reality.

At 35 years old, Smith is highly unlikely to retire. There is also no guarantee that he returns to Minnesota in 2024. The veteran carries a $19.22 million cap hit for next season.

With Kirk Cousins’ return to the Vikings looking much less likely than even a few weeks ago, Smith’s departure could follow suit. He wants to contend for a championship. Minnesota wouldn’t be able to offer that. In short, Smith moving on from Minneapolis has been a recent talking point.

Despite Smith’s all-around skills having taken somewhat of a hit since his last Pro Bowl appearance back in 2021, there will be interest in him as a low-cost veteran.

Ideal Harrison Smith landing spots during NFL offseason

Let’s take a gander at five teams that absolutely make the most sense for Smith as he continues what has been a brilliant NFL career.

  • Dallas Cowboys: This landing spot is about as obvious as it gets. Dallas just hired former Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer to be its defensive coordinator. Smith worked under Zimmer for eight seasons in Minnesota, earning all six of his Pro Bowl trips during that span. The ‘Boys also have a need at safety with Jayron Kearse hitting free agency and Malik Hooker looking more like a backup.
  • Buffalo Bills: This AFC title contender just released Jordan Poyer. Fellow veteran safety Micah Hyde is slated to hit free agency, too. They are both going to be salary cap casualties in their own way and won’t be back in Western New York next season. This leaves a major void in head coach Sean McDermott’s defense. Smith has earned a whopping $87.5 million throughout his career. It’s now all about winning. If he believes the Bills offer that chance, signing for the near league minimum would make sense.

Harrison Smith career stats: 1,039 tackles, 45 tackles for loss, 34 interceptions, 4 TD

  • Philadelphia Eagles: Here is another team that seems to make perfect sense for Smith. Philadelphia just released Kevin Byard. He won’t be back. Sydney Brown and Reed Blankenship are not starter-caliber safeties. Smith could still be. After all, he yielded a mere 83.3 QB rating when targeted a season ago. It could be a match made in heaven.
  • San Francisco 49ers: Overall, most might believe that the 49ers are set at safety. That’s just on the surface. Former All-Pro Talanoa Hufanga is coming off a torn ACL. Pro Bowler Tashaun Gipson is slated to hit free agency. There could be a need for depth here. That’s true even if Gipson were to re-sign in San Francisco. For Smith, the idea would be to come in to a Super Bowl-caliber team and provide depth. He’d then fill in when needed.
  • New York Jets: Was New York a contender without Aaron Rodgers last season? No. Will it be one with him healthy heading into the 2024 campaign? It remains an open question. What we do know is that the Jets’ front office brass will go all in to build a team around the future Hall of Fame quarterback. Safety is also a need with Chuck Clark, Jordan Whitehead and Ashtyn Davis set to hit free agency. There is a need. There is a fit. It makes sense as long as Harrison Smith is sold on the Jets as a contender.

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