Lions acquire huge run-stuffing DT Damon Harrison from Giants
Allen Park — One team’s fire sale is another team’s gold mine.
The Detroit Lions landed a huge piece, literally and figuratively, to the team’s defensive puzzle on Wednesday morning, swinging a deal for New York Giants defensive tackle Damon “Snacks” Harrison, according to ESPN.
"I've truly been blessed to be able to call this NJ/NY area home these past 7 years," he tweeted. "During my time here I've gotten married, had my first son, learned to become a better man, and in my spare time I even managed to become a better football player. ...
"Thank you to the N.Y. Giants organization for the honor of playing for such a classy and historic organization ..."
One of the NFL’s premier run-stuffing defensive tackles, Harrison bolsters a Detroit rotation that’s struggled in that department. A first-team All-Pro in 2016, the 6-foot-3, 355-pounder has averaged 78 tackles the past three seasons.
The Giants have started the year 1-6 and began to sell off pieces on Tuesday, prior to next week's trade deadline, sending cornerback Eli Apple to the Saints.
Despite the team’s struggles, Harrison has been a bright spot. Pro Football Focus graded him as the team’s best player and he checks in seventh overall among defensive tackles.
Detroit has two defensive tackles among PFF’s top 15, rookie Da’Shawn Hand and A’Shawn Robinson, while Rickey Jean Francois and Sylvester Williams rank 109th and 85th, respectively.
To acquire Harrison, the Lions are sending the Giants a fifth-round pick.
Detroit will inherit the remainder of a five-year, $46.25 million contract Harrison signed with New York in 2016. The Lions will owe $4.6 million over the remainder of this season and he’ll have cap hits of $7 million and $9.25 million the next two years.
Both Jean Francois and Williams are on one-year deals, set to be free agents at season’s end.
Lions coach Matt Patricia said Wednesday that talks with the Giants had taken place but would not comment beyond that until a deal was finalized.
The addition of Harrison will solidify the middle of Detroit’s defense, a team that’s allowing a league-worst 5.3 yards per carry.
The Lions (3-3) are currently tied for third in the NFC North, but trail the division-leading Vikings by just one in the win column.