The Washington Redskins announced today they have signed veteran cornerback Walt Harris. Terms of the contract were not disclosed. Harris, going into his ninth NFL year, is an experienced and proven veteran that adds depth, speed and skill to the Redskins secondary.
Harris, 5-11 and 192 pounds, played his first six seasons with the Chicago Bears and the past two with the Indianapolis Colts. He has started 113 games and appeared in 118, totaling 601 tackles (435 solo) with 17 interceptions and 124 passes defensed. He has also logged 12 forced fumbles, 10 fumble recoveries and one sack. Harris has posted at least 50 tackles in every season of his career and set a career-high for interceptions with five in 1997. He also has returned three interceptions for touchdowns.
Last season with the Colts, Harris started 15 games and recorded 55 tackles (32 solo) with 12 passes defensed. He also had a solid postseason, posting 14 tackles (8 solo), one interception and 5 passes defensed in three games. In his first season with the Colts in 2002, Harris started 15 games and had 61 tackles (39 solo) and two interceptions.
Harris had a breakout season as a rookie in 1996 with the Bears, collecting a career-high 113 tackles (93 solo), two interceptions, two fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles and 18 passes defensed. He followed up his rookie season with five interceptions and 94 tackles (75 solo) in 1997, while posting four pickoffs and 85 tackles (65 solo) in 1998. He had his lone NFL sack and led the team in passes defensed with 11 in 1999, adding 71 tackles and one interception. In his final two seasons with Chicago (2000-01) he had 52 and 71 tackles, respectively, and combined for three interceptions.
Harris was a four-year letterman at Mississippi State, also the alma mater of fellow Redskins cornerback Fred Smoot. He holds the school's career interception record with 17 and was a three-time All-SEC pick. He was a first-team All-SEC choice after his senior season when he posted four interceptions and eight passes defensed.