With so many Patriots players leaving this offseason, Duron Harmon became part of the blur.
But the now-Lions safety said coach Bill Belichick was up front with him about the reasons why — the need to bring in reinforcements.
Via NBCSportsBoston.com, Harmon said on Devin and Jason McCourty’s “Double Coverage” podcast that Belichick explained it was just about finances.
“[Belichick] told me, ‘Look, it’s just at the point where we have to make some moves and we just paid Dev; it’s just going to be really tough to really do anything, or get anything done in free agency if we don’t do this,'” Harmon said.
“He was just telling me it’s going to be a great opportunity for me [in Detroit],” Harmon added. “I respect that because at the end of the day we know Bill is going to do what is best for the team and I respect that because not a lot of people can do that and have that commitment and dedication that the team is first.”
Harmon would have counted $4.25 million against the cap for the Patriots, who had just given Devin McCourty a two-year, $23 million extension.
Coupled with Tom Brady (among many others) leaving in free agency, and the release of longtime kicker Stephen Gostkowski, it’s a major change for the Patriots. Getting rid of a Rutgers guy like Harmon may make his trade even more surprising, but Harmon has no hard feelings.