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Saturday, August 4, 2007

Panthers Trade for Harris; Minter Done?

The Panthers gave up a conditional 5th round pick in 2008 for safety Chris Harris, a third year starter from the Bears. Harris (6'0, 207, Louisiana-Monroe) is an aggressive, in the box type safety who started at both free and strong safety in his two years there - breaking into the lineup in his second pro game, Harris started the rest of the season minus two injury games. Harris started a total of seven games last year, and all three postseason contests.

His 5 INT over the last two years were most for Bears' safeties in those two years; he ranked 8th in tackles in 2005, 6th in 2006.

Pro Football Talk quotes a league insider saying it was "a steal" and "a hell of a move." The Bears laud the deal for their acquisition of young safeties in the draft and the addition of big-money hype machine Adam Archuleta.

With a minor injury history, Harris lost his FS job to Danieal Manning for an ankle injury, and after one week back as a reserve, hurt his quad and missed three more. Harris also missed two games near the end of his rookie season to a knee injury, but regained his position.

In a related move, Mike Minter has been sitting some practices out, and the aging safety has announced that he may or may not make it through training camp. Minter said he would use the month to determine whether he could handle another year's grind, especially on his knees. This was likely what prompted the move to trade for Harris, and more action may be coming for Minter's replacement if Minter does make the move.
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