The dream of every player who has ever been waived is to face his old team and painfully make it regret that decision. Even a soft-spoken, level-headed veteran like David Harris has to have some lust for vengeance headed into MetLife Stadium with his New England Patriots on Sunday against the New York Jets.
The 33-year-old linebacker spent the last 10 seasons with the Jets before surprisingly being released in June. Unsurprisingly, however, the Patriots moved in and locked him up in a two-year deal.
So far the signing hasn’t gone as well as expected.
Harris has suited up in only four games for a grand total of seven defensive snaps. Most of his time is spent watching the game from the sidelines, a stark contrast from a decade at the heart of the Jets’ defense. Save the ink for all of the grandiose stories of revenge this weekend. Harris will be lucky to even step on the field.
“I try to do whatever is best for the team,” Harris told the Boston Herald. “Whatever coach asks me to do, I try to do it. It’s been going good. We’re winning right now, and that’s all you can ask for… I just try to be a good team player. We have a lot of good guys in this locker room. We bust our tails every day. Everybody’s role is different. You’ve just got to be ready when your number is called.”
It might take a few injuries for Harris’s number to get called.
When Dont’a Hightower isn’t lining up outside, the Patriots clearly favor Kyle Van Noy and Elandon Roberts over the veteran linebacker. If Shea McClellin returns to the lineup later in the season, that would force Harris even deeper down the depth chart. It could potentially make him a cap casualty behind Marquis Flowers, who also contributes on special teams.
Patriot head coach Bill Belichick is cutthroat when it comes to personnel decisions, and he isn’t going to extend Harris’s playing time to appease some narrative. However, he isn’t cold-hearted, either. Harris should play for a few snaps just to get a taste of what life is like on the other side of Gang Green. He should revel in whatever opportunities he gets.
They won’t last long.