Former NY Giant Damon ‘Snacks’ Harrison was surprisingly released by the Detroit Lions on Thursday.
During his NY Giant career, Damon Harrison was mostly a model teammate and a high-level performer on the field. For those reasons, he was also mostly beloved by Big Blue fans for his bruising style of play in the trenches and his leadership.
When they made the trade with the Giants in 2018, the Lions thought they came away with a steal after only parting with a fifth-round draft selection for Snacks on the back-end of his deal. Just seven months ago, the Lions seemed to be so happy with Snacks’ play that they even gave him a one year, $11M contract extension.
Harrison won’t end up seeing that money, as the Lions are shockingly moving on from the former All-Pro while choosing to incur a $5M dead cap hit against $6M of cap savings. The 31-year-old slipped in a big way for the first time in his career in 2019 and recorded his lowest-ever PFF grade (and run defense grade) while registering a career-low 49 tackles (which is a testament in itself).
One thing Snacks did improve on in his time in Detroit was pass-rushing as the nose tackle racked up 5.5 sacks in two seasons. The Lions must have really seen something they didn’t like to move on after Snacks put together a monster 2018 that included 50 tackles, (37 solo…unheard of for a DT), 3.5 sacks, 5 TFL and 7 QB hits in just 10 games with his new squad.
Other than Mike Francesa – who anointed the defensive lineman as a secret major locker room problem – Harrison was highly respected by NY Giant fans and his teammates.
The veteran will surely have a broad market in free agency, as there are plenty of playoff-level squads that could use a run-stuffer of Harrison’s caliber. The Cheifs, for one, come to mind right off the bat with the possibility of them losing Chris Jones and already struggling against the run.
Harrison likely won’t collect any kind of big contract, but I think he’ll be okay with that and will badly want to play for a contender. Other than on that fateful day in Green Bay January of 2017, Harrison hasn’t had the luxury of playing in the NFL playoffs.
Hopefully, we see Snacks latch on with a legitimate contender, and thanks to the Lions, he’ll have a head start on his competition.