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Harris to return to Vikings on one-year tender

Minnesota Vikings safety Anthony Harris, shown here in the NFC Divisional Playoff football game against the New Orleans Saints at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Safety Anthony Harris will return to the Vikings.

The exclusive-rights free agent said Thursday he will sign a one-year, $705,000 tender. The contract offer is a procedural move that has been expected.

"I'm excited," said Harris, undrafted in 2015 out of Virginia. "I started out with Minnesota. They gave me an opportunity to display my talents. It's been a lot of hard work trying to get better and trying to find a way to be a contributor, so to get the opportunity to come back for another year is great."

A source said the Vikings also will give a one-year, $630,000 tender to exclusive-rights free-agent running back Mack Brown, and he will sign it.

After being picked up on waivers last October from Washington, Brown played in one game for Minnesota, returning one kickoff for 17 yards.

A source said the Vikings will not tender exclusive-rights free-agent long snapper Jeff Overbaugh and he will become an unrestricted free agent.

Overbaugh replaced Kevin McDermott, who suffered a shoulder injury, for the final regular-season game of 2017 and both playoff games.

The source said McDermott, who has three years left on his contract, is recovering well from surgery and will remain Minnesota's long snapper.

Harris has started eight of the 36 games he has played for the Vikings over three seasons. He appeared in all 16 games last season, starting three times when Andrew Sendejo missed two games because of injury and one because of a suspension.

Harris played 57 of 133 defensive snaps in Minnesota's two playoff games in January, making seven tackles.

"I feel good about the way I finished up last year, and I'm just looking forward to getting back to Minnesota (when spring drills start April 16) and working with the guys and trying to build something," Harris said.

Harris said Thursday that the Vikings planned to send him contract documents by overnight mail. He said he plans to sign his new deal "as soon as possible."

Free agency begins next week with the legal tampering period running Monday through Wednesday. The new league year begins on Wednesday.

Minnesota also has 13 unrestricted free agents and three restricted free agents.

The Vikings are not expected to tender offensive lineman Jeremiah Sirles and running back Bishop Sankey, which would make them unrestricted. Sirles has interest in re-signing.

A source said the Vikings have yet to decide which tender to give restricted free-agent guard Nick Easton, who made $615,000 last season and whom they hope to retain.

The tenders available are for $1.907 million to give the Vikings the right to match any offer, $2.914 million for them to receive a possible second-round draft pick as compensation for losing him and $4.149 million for them to receive a possible first-round pick as compensation.

A source said the Vikings plan to take a deliberate approach with their own free agents until they know more about how much a starting quarterback will cost them.

Minnesota is planning to go after free agent Kirk Cousins, who could command about $30 million a year. Other candidates likely would cost significantly less.

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