Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy, at his Monday press conference said he was happy with Al Harris’ work and his release on Monday was not a physical decision. McCarthy called it a big picture roster decision.
McCarthy defended the way the Packers handled things and said they were up front with Harris that releasing him was one of the options.
A number of things unfolded which led to the release of Harris. The 13-year veteran wasn’t going to get his starting job back. Tramon Williams has locked down the starters job at corner which would move Harris into a reserve role. But Sam Shields play as the nickel back meant Harris would potentially start even further down the depth chart.
Throw in the special teams factor, Harris’ age and uncertainty about his surgically repaired knee and what that meant for his effectiveness upon returning.
Defensive coordinator Dom Capers said the Packers young players are only getting better and that’s a factor in this decision as well.
It’s always difficult to see veteran players that have done so much for a team, see their time come to an end. Harris likely still has something in the tank and could continue to play. He’ll likely find a team to do that with soon. It won’t be for the Packers though. But that also shouldn’t take away from what Harris has done in his 7 years with the Packers. He became one of the best lock-down, cover corners in the NFL.