Chicago Sun-Times

Tommy aids Tommie: Harris' case for huge deal bolstered

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Players like nothing more than for other players to get paid.

They’re smart guys, you see, and they know the trickle down effect of one guy hitting the jackpot will eventually reach them.

Somewhere, Tommie Harris probably felt more of a waterfall than a trickle.

That’s because the Oakland Raiders made defensive tackle Tommy Kelly rich beyond his wildest imaginations on Thursday. Kelly, who played end previously for the Raiders, signed a $50.5 million, seven year contract on the eve of free agency. The deal brokered by agent Gary Wichard contains $18.125 million in guarantees and he will pocket a cool $25.125 million in the first three years.

Kelly is now the highest-paid defensive tackle in the history of the game.

Yes, that groan you just heard was coming all way from Halas Hall in Lake Forest with the knowledge Harris and his representative Drew Rosenhaus are going to be saying Tommy Who?

Kelly surpasses the $47.5 million deal that Detroit inked Cory Redding to last summer.

Why do I get the distinct feeling Harris will be sticking more and more to his desire to get a contract in the realm of what end Dwight Freeney received from the Indianapolis Colts. He pulled in a $72 million, six-year deal that included $37.72 million in the first three years.

Harris is shooting for an even $40 million over the first three years. Kelly might help him get there.

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I love Tommie Harris, but you have to wonder, even if it's just a little bit, if there are going to be injuries plaguing this guy his whole career...

To pay a guy that much $$$ and have the potential for another Mike Brown on our hands would be absolutely crippling to a franchise as cheap as the Bears!

Even if it means paying him a little more at the end of a successful season next year, the Bears should wait and make sure Tommie is fully recovered from the numerous injuries he has sustained in his brief career...

Tommie Harris is one of the few guys I'd give a blank check to. He is a game changer, even when playing through injury. Unlike Briggs, we don't have anyone behind Harris on the depth chart that can equal his output. You pay Harris, Urlacher, and a healthy safety what they're worth, and then rotate competent people around them in the other positions.

When a team drafts a player and the player becomes successful you then have to pay the player, that is just the nature of the beast. I think it would be best for the Bears to suck this one up and pay Tommie Harris because a player of Harris caliber only comes along once every ten years or so. Harris does things that you don't always notice when you watch a game like demand a constant double team, or drop back into coverage, little things like that make Tommie Harris so valueable to the Bears and what they are trying to do. The Bears cannot afford to lose Tommie Harris it would be worse than the cap room the money paying Harris will effect, oh well GO BEARS!!

Tommy Kelly Who???? ARe you kidding me??? I'm out here in the bay area and most Raider fans don't even know the guy...seriously they don't! Heck, he only played 9 games last year. The Raiders are totally slanting the market and now Tommie Harris will take up the entire salary cap of the Bears.

R U serious Cocobear? Ha! What is dis World coming to!!


Kevin, if you are a Bay area fan and don't know who Tommy Kelly is then you must be a Niner fan. I'm REALLY sorry for that.
Either that or you just couldn't bear to sit through Raider games the last couple years (which is understandable because even as a fan they are difficult to keep on the TV at times)
Sapp has been saying since he got to da Raiderz that this kid is the real deal, and if they would just stop moving him around so much and let him develop at a position, he would be one of the best lineman in the league.
Plus with the inflated Salary cap, I bet he would of been seeing at least 6 mil a year on the open market. Maybe one of the best kept secrets in the league... At least from fans. Coaches know who he is I guarantee you.

So fellas, as a die hard Raider fan, I will drop some knowledge for you on Tommy Kelly, so you can make informed comments and decisions.

Warren Sapp believes that Tommy Kelly is the next big thing in the 3 technique at DT. Kelly has been a team player willing to play DE when asked, and played it well, especially against the run. Of course at DE he was out of position, and thus the lack of sacks. The Raiders used his bulk to line him up on the strong side DE in running situations, but mostly he played opposite Burgess. Nevertheless, the retirement of Sapp, and the bust that is Terdel Sands (Who? Exactly!), leaves the spot wide open for Tommy to step in and dominate.

Last year he tore his ACL, and missed the last half of the season. I trust Warren Sapp, the greatest 3 technique of all time, in his assessment of Kelly. The reason you all have not herd of him is he is young, up and coming. Of course, I am not blind, and the ACL tear is a big risk, but I believe in modern medical science, and believe that Tommy will fulfill his incredible potential.


I am confused - is the article about Tommie Harris or Tommie Kelly? I love Tommie Harris. I think he is a dynamic player. whatever they gave him- he deserves it. God Speed Tommie, and I am still waiting on my jersey.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on February 28, 2008 3:23 PM.

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