Harrison Smith Likely to Accept Pay Cut; Remain with Vikings
Update (3/10/23 – 1:00 PM): New reports suggest Harrison Smith and the Vikings may not be on the same page after all…
On Friday morning, it was announced that the Minnesota Vikings were going to officially release homegrown wide receiver, Adam Thielen, later in the day. But if it makes fans feel better, they’ll be happy to know that defensive fan favorite, Harrison Smith, is expected to do what Thielen wouldn’t.
Smith, according to Darren Wolfson (SKOR North), is open-minded to taking a pay cut. Doogie’s report has been backed up by another known Vikings insider, @SkolBros on Twitter, who has been very adamant that Harry will return.
“I can see Harrison Smith here. That he is open-minded, my understanding is, to a pay cut. We’re not talking a restructure, there. He would have to take a cut. But that he’s open-minded to that. When you’re a mid-30’s safety, you have to be realistic about your lot in NFL life and there is mutual interest with the Vikings in bringing him back. So I can see a scenario where Harrison Smith is back. “Darren Wolfson – Mackey & Judd (SKOR North)
I’ll say it again and again. Harry will be playing for the Vikings in 2023-2024. https://t.co/DG28QjRMZv— Your sources source. (@SkolBros) March 8, 2023
Trust me when I tell you that “SkolBros” knows important people. Whether he ends up being right on Smith returning or not — and a new report came out shortly after this blog was posted that suggests he may not be — his sources are legitimate. A must-follow on Twitter.
Harrison Smith and Adam Thielen face different realities
It’s possible that Harrison Smith wants to retire as a Minnesota Viking more than Adam Thielen does. But it’s more likely that the grass for Smith is much less green on the other side than that of Adam Thielen’s.
As Doogie mentions in his scoop, Harry is aware of his “lot in life” as an aging NFL safety. That says something about one of the DB greats of this franchise. Smith is willing to take a pay cut because he’s choosing familiarity and loyalty over pride and stubbornness.
Many declining greats cannot look themselves in the mirror and admit they may not be worth the cash their contract calls for. They’d rather hit the open market and make less for another team than take a pay cut with the team they did so many great things for.
Harry can still play.
That’s not to say The Hitman can’t still play. His PFF grade (69.1) was his lowest since 2012, Harry’s second season in the league. Still, it was 4th highest defensive grade of any Vikings player who registered over 600 snaps on the season (Smith registered 912 snaps).
Smith’s roving pre-snap mind games should match up perfectly with the aggressive “show me” style scheme and blitz packages that Flores likes to run. It will be a 180 degree difference to what he had to get used to under former DC, Ed Donatell.
Hopefully the two sides can come to a salary haircut that makes sense for both sides. It’d be nice to have Harrison Smith’s veteran presence to help segway the defense into this new Brian Flores era.
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan