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NFL Free Agency 2012: Should The Arizona Cardinals Target Tommie Harris?

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Yesterday we looked at a defensive lineman, asking if Gary Gibson would be a good signing for depth at the defensive tackle position. 59% of you believe bringing on Gibson is a good idea, but much of it would depend on price and Dan Williams' status going into the 2012 NFL season.

For today, we will look at another defensive lineman, but instead of someone that would play up the middle as a nose tackle, we'll look at a guy that has played as a 3-4 end and pass rusher. Although the Cardinals are apparently trying to re-sign Vonnie Holliday, nothing is set in stone.

So if that plan falls through, what about trying to sign Tommie Harris?

Last season, Harris joined the San Diego Chargers after being a member of the Chicago Bears since 2004. With the Bears, Harris played up the middle as a defensive tackle in their 4-3 scheme. Once he was signed by the Chargers, he was utilized as a backup defensive end to rush the pass in their 3-4 scheme.

The former first round pick rushed the opposing quarterback 193 times last year in his 287 total snaps and was able to get three sacks and ten pressures, according to Pro Football Focus. He also had eight tackles and 11 "stops" in just 13 games played.

PFF gave Harris a positive grade both as a pass rusher and as a run defender.

So would Harris be a wise signing for the Cardinals? At 28 years of age, Harris would be a much younger option than Holliday, while still being able to bring a veteran presence. We know that he has no issue playing in a reserve role, which he would undoubtedly do if he came to Arizona. But if he was asked to start due to an injury, I have no doubts that he would not only be willing to do so, but he would be a competent starter as well.

In my opinion, I think Harris could be a very solid signing for this team. I like that Holliday was so productive last season and that he knows the scheme, but he is also 36 years of age. While I expect Vonnie to be back, Harris would be a good fallback option that would be inexpensive and would not require a long-term contract. The only problem I would have is his extended injury history, but if he can stay healthy, he could provide some depth for this football club.

What are your thoughts on Harris? Should the Cardinals give him a look to be one of their reserve defensive linemen? Tell us what you think in the comments below and vote in the poll.

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