Via his Twitter, Damon “Snacks” Harrison confirms that the Green Bay Packers reached out to him earlier this offseason.
One major question mark surrounding this Green Bay Packers’ team entering the new season is their run defense. Everyone is, of course, going to remember their performance in the NFC Championship Game, and while that was by far their worst outing of the year, it was still a liability for much of the season.
From the outside looking in, it didn’t seem like GM Brian Gutekunst and Company did much to remedy this issue over the offseason. Their only additions were Treyvon Hester, who was on his fourth team in four years, and undrafted free agent Willington Previlon.
By and large, the Packers are banking on the development of Kingsley Keke and hoping that Dean Lowry can regain his 2017-2018 form. We could also see more Za’Darius Smith and Rashan Gary inside as well.
However, while no major additions to the interior defensive line were made – at least not yet – it’s not from a lack of effort. About a month ago, Ross Uglem of Packer Report reported that Green Bay had made Damon “Snacks” Harrison a “competitive contract offer,” but he had turned it down.
And while this report seemed to fly under the radar among Packer Nation, Harrison himself confirmed it was true on Twitter when answering a fan’s question:
Now, why Snacks hasn’t signed with the Green Bay Packers remains unknown, and there could be several reasons. But I imagine the biggest one is money. At this point, Harrison still remains unsigned; however, his ability as a run-stuffer would be a welcomed sight in Titletown, especially with the uncertainty around the Packer interior defensive line.
Over the last four seasons, Harrison has proven to be durable, starting 62 out of 64 games during that span. And when it comes to stopping the run, he’s been one of the best, if not the best, for even longer.
Pro Football Focus (subscription required) uses a metric called Run-Stop Percentage that measures the rate at which a player makes a stop against the run. And a “stop” is a play that constitutes a loss for the offense.
Although 2019 was a down year by Harrison’s lofty standards, he still finished 11th overall among all interior defensive linemen in that category. Before that, you ask? Well, he was first in the NFL for five straight seasons from 2014 to 2018, and he was second in 2013.
Nearing 32-years-old, Harrison may not be the player that he was a few years ago, but with Kenny Clark, the aforementioned Smith, and Gary taking some snaps inside and the hopeful emergence of Kingsley Keke in a rotational role, Snacks could still certainly be an effective player.
With Week 1 almost here, no one outside of the Packers’ organization and Harrison knows where that original offer stands. However, making that signing – as long as Harrison is willing – still makes quite a bit of sense for Green Bay.