Another New York Giants trade made Bill Barnwell’s top 30 list at No. 14.
In October, the New York Giants dealt Pro Bowl defensive tackle Damon Harrison to the Detroit Lions for a 2019 fifth-round draft selection. If you peel below the surface, you can see, this trade wasn’t about the exchange of assets.
Adding Harrison obviously bolstered the Lions beleaguered rush defense. Conversely, Harrison is 30-years old and has two more seasons to go on a five-year contract signed with the G-Men in 2016, according to Spotrac.
In 2019, the Giants are going to eat $3.2 million in dead cap space from Harrison’s contract, but they are out from under over $16 million in salary, which can and will be used for repairs elsewhere on the roster.
And at 32-years of age in 2021, it remains to be seen how effective that Harrison will still be at that time.
The trade may have been more of a waste for the Detroit Lions, given the fact the squad from Motown finished in last place in the NFC North with a 6-10 record. Harrison could have been a valuable addition for a legitimate playoff contender, something that Detroit may not even be in 2019.
Fans lambasted New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman about the meager return of a fifth-round draft pick. Unless there’s little luck involved, don’t count on the team selecting a Pro Bowl player.
“Before acquiring Harrison, the Lions were allowing opposing teams to average 5.3 yards per carry and convert 25.5 percent of their runs into first downs. After getting Snacks away from the Giants, though, Matt Patricia’s defense allowed just 3.0 yards per carry and first downs just 15.4 percent of the time while Harrison was on the field. The 30-year-old tackle even chipped in with 3.5 sacks and seven knockdowns.”
Can there be a trade where it works out for the player, but not either team? Barnwell gave the deal an impact B- grade. It seems pretty generous, given the fact that the Lions still finished last, and the Giants got a middling draft. Extra salary cap space isn’t that sexy.
Harrison will continue to be productive into the 2019 season, but his talents will largely be wasted in Detroit, just like they were in New York. Perhaps, the Lions will do Harrison a favor and cut him, so he can make a deal with a legitimate contender.