After an edict from the owner when he signed, Charles Harris is getting his career on track with the Lions.
As might be expected as they set out on another rebuild, the Detroit Lions didn’t ink many multi-year deals in free agency last offseason–only running back Jamaal Williams got a two-year deal. One of the one-year fliers was on a former first-round pick, defensive end Charles Harris.
Harris was drafted 22nd overall in the 2017 draft by the Miami Dolphins out of the University of Missouri. In 41 games over three seasons with the Dolphins, he had 3.5 sacks and was easily labeled a bust. He was traded to the Atlanta Falcons in 2020, and nearly matched his previous output with three sacks in 13 games last season for them.
Harris signed a one-year, $1.75 million deal with the Lions in March. Via Justin Rogers of The Detroit News, when he came into the building to sign his contract owner Sheila Ford Hamp had a simple demand:
“Go get the quarterback.”
Charles Harris taking opportunity to get his career on track in Detroit
Pressed into a bigger role with Trey Flowers missing two games and Romeo Okwara out for the season with a torn Achilles, Harris has a four-game sack streak going heading into Week 6 against the Cincinnati Bengals. That is tied for the longest sack streak in Lions history.
Lions outside linebackers coach Kelvin Sheppard pointed to Harris’ motivation level.
“(But) the No. 1 thing is, since Day 1 of training camp since Charles Harris walked in these doors, he’s been a man on a mission. It was clear in everything to this entire staff that he was out to prove something, to not only us, but to the entire league.”
Harris has of course already set his career-high for sacks in a season. According to Pro Football Reference, he has already tied his career-high for quarterback pressures (12) and is near his career-best for hurries (seven, career-high is eight–data tracked since 2018).
With the premium placed on those who can get after the quarterback, Harris has started himself on track toward getting a nice multi-year deal on the free agent market next March. Maybe he’ll even get that multi-year deal from the Lions.