According to a couple of sources, the Detroit Lions plan to release DT Damon “Snacks” Harrison. Harrison was considering retirement at the end of the 2019 season, but still has yet to make a final decision. It looks as if general manager Bob Quinn has made a decision for him — at least in Detroit anyway.
Can confirm.— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) February 20, 2020
Retirement remains a possibility, will see how he feels and how market shapes up. https://t.co/QKEYf2KX1L
Lions are releasing DT Damon “Snacks” Harrison, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 21, 2020
As a mid-season trade in 2018, Snacks came to Detroit from the New York Giants for only a fifth-round pick in return. At the time, it looked like a steal. Harrison almost immediately transformed the Lions run defense into a top-10 unit over night.
The Lions gave Snacks a one-year extension just last offseason when he still was under contract through the 2020 season. In hindsight, it doesn’t look like a wise decision. Harrison’s 2019 was a major disappointment as injuries and other factors led to one of Harrison’s worst seasons as a pro.
Detroit will save $6.75-million towards the salary cap this season after Harrison’s release. That sounds great, but he will also leave $5 million of dead cap space — which is $5-million more than if the Lions didn’t give him an unusual contract extension with two years left on his deal back in August. In saying that, Harrison did reduced his 2019 base salary from $6.75 million to $1 million when he signed the extension. With his new bonuses on top, in the end, the Lions saved about $2.75-million towards the cap last year which went unused and transferred to the 2020 salary cap.
It’s unclear if the 31-year old Harrison will hang up his cleats and call it a career at this time. He still might test the waters of the free agency market.
After weighing retirement at the end of last season, DT Damon “Snacks” Harrison wants to keep playing, source said. Released by the #Lions, Snacks now hits the free-agent market.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) February 21, 2020
One thing is for sure, Snacks might not get the national recognition, but he has been undoubtedly one of the best run stuffers in the NFL over the last seven seasons.
Quinn and the Lions will desperately need to find defensive tackle help in the coming months as both Mike Daniels and A’Shawn Robinson are set to become free agents.
(The article will be updated to provide more information as it becomes available.)