Analysis

Could the Chiefs bring back Demetrius Harris?

The Cleveland Browns released Demetrius Harris alongside three other players Monday morning.

Within minutes, Chief fans on Twitter started discussing the idea of a reunion between Harris and Kansas City.

Harris joined the team as an undrafted free agent in 2013. He was mainly used as a special teams player and TE2 behind Travis Kelce. After six seasons with the team, the Chiefs let him walk after the 2018 season.

His best season came in 2017, catching 18 passes for 224 yards, good for 12.4 yards per reception, and one touchdown.

Many fans will say his most memorable moment in the red and gold was catching Dontari Poe’s lob on the famous “Bloated Tebow Pass” on Christmas Day 2016 versus the Broncos.

For the 2019 season, the Chiefs rotated between Blake Bell and Deon Yelder behind Kelce. Bell was on the field for 37.6% of all offensive snaps of the season, while Yelder only 4.4% (per Football Outsiders).

Neither found a big role, combining for just 11 catches and 117 yards on the year. Bell was used mainly as a blocking tight end and found success in that role. He did have a TD catch in the 51-31 win in the Divisional Round versus the Texans. That touchdown is more famous for Eric Fisher’s “Stonecold” celebration than the actual play.

If the Chiefs do wish to bring Harris back, they will have to work in his contract into an already tight cap situation. As of this writing, the Chiefs have just under $14 million in cap space.

With Chris Jones due for an extension and other members of the defense with expiring contracts, including cornerbacks Bashaud Breeland, Kendall Fuller, and Morris Claiborne, a TE2 probably isn’t Brett Veach’s top priority, even with Bell set to depart as a free agent himself.

If the Chiefs do decide to bring Harris back, they will be bringing back a well-respected player liked by the coaching staff. In August, special teams coach Dave Toub noted how much Harris did for the team. “We got a lot out of Demetrius last year… We are not going to necessarily ask (Bell) to be that guy, but he’s going to be playing a lot of those same positions”.

In addition, he already has chemistry with many members of the team, most importantly Patrick Mahomes. In 2018, Harris caught 12 catches for 164 yards and 3 touchdowns from Mahomes.

In an offseason filled with interesting storylines for the defending champions, this decision is another one to keep an eye on over the coming weeks and months.

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