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Notes: Cap expert believes Charles Harris’ contract among best value free agent signings

One cap expert believes the Lions’ retention of Charles Harris was one of the most economically efficient moves so far in free agency.

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The Detroit Lions haven’t done too much in free agency, but their praise for the moves they have made continue. Earlier this week, PFF called Detroit’s moves “above average,” noting that Detroit has “taken calculated gambles in a few different areas but avoided spending huge money.”

One of those calculated gambles was the re-signing of edge defender Charles Harris. Last year, the Lions took a chance on the underperforming former first-round pick with a one-year, prove-it deal. Harris took on the challenge and produced his best season to date, notching 7.5 sacks while being one of the most efficient run defenders in the league.

The Lions rewarded that play with a two-year, $13 million deal this offseason that included just $7 million guaranteed. Harris will carry just a $3 million cap hit this year, but that will jump to nearly $8 million next season. The Lions were able to lower the cap hits for each season by adding on a voided year that will throw an additional $2 million on the 2024 cap, even if Harris isn’t on the team any longer.

You can see our full breakdown of Harris’ contract here, but it also allows the Lions to get out of the contract after the 2022 season with only a moderate hit in dead cap if Harris doesn’t reach expectations.

Brad Spielberger, the cap expert over at PFF, named Harris’ contract one of the best value contracts of free agency thus far:

“Good deal for Detroit. The former first-rounder had 52 QB pressures last year with a 78.7 pass rush grade,” Spielberger tweeted last week. “Lions have done well finding diamond in the rough edge defenders, first Romeo Okwara and now Harris.”

Later, Spielberger praised the Lions’ entire offseason thus far.

“Definitely like the Chark & Charles Harris move,” Spielberger added on Twitter. “Had heard Walker was going to do well, plus I’ll trust this defensive staff to know a good safety when they see one. Smart to all be short-term for now. Think they’ve done well so far.”

You can also refresh your memory on our thoughts about the topic. Mike Payton is fully on board, while Ryan Mathews made a compelling argument that this is the year for the Lions to draft a quarterback at 2.

  • More on Willis: Benjamin Solak of The Ringer gives the national perception of the Lions taking Willis at 2:

  • The Lions made the signings of backup quarterbacks Tim Boyle and David Blough official today. Here’s both of them trying to hype us up:

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