The Patriots continue to make moves as the official start of free agency approaches. According to NFL Network, safety Duron Harmon will be traded to Detroit with the teams swapping late-round picks.
Harmon has enjoyed a solid if unspectacular career during his seven season in New England, time mostly spent as a third safety along with Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung. Harmon appeared in 111 games with just 29 starts, recording 175 tackles, 17 interceptions and 28 passes defensed.
Harmon signed a four-year extension in New England in 2017 but will now play the final year of that deal for his former defensive coordinator Matt Patricia in Detroit. The move will save the Patriots roughly $4.5 million against the cap.
Harmon started eight games in 2019 for the Patriots, recording 22 tackles and a pair of interceptions. The recent re-signing of McCourty likely signaled the end of Harmon's time with the team as Bill Belichick would like to see a younger, cheaper alternative move into the third safety role.
Joejuan Williams, a second-round pick last year, played corner as a rookie but perhaps he has the versatility to make the switch. Also, Obi Melifonwu spent time on New England's practice squad a year ago and he could be a candidate to replace Harmon as well.
Harmon has been a respected voice in the Patriots locker room in recent years, and that leadership will be missed.