The Cincinnati Bengals have been relying on Clark Harris for almost a decade now, and that won’t change in 2017 as the long snapper enters his ninth season in Cincinnati.
Weight: 250 pounds
Hometown: Manahawkin, NJ
Experience: Ninth-year player
Draft Status: 7th round pick in 2007 NFL Draft
Harris is entering the final year of a five-year, $4,950,000 contract, which he signed with the Bengals in 2013. He is set to have a cap hit of $1,000,000 in 2017. If cut, there is no dead cap money, according to Spotrac.
Long-snapper is a thankless position in the NFL. You’re only in the news if you do something bad, which is why it’s good you’ve rarely heard about Clark Harris. The long-time snapper has been with the Bengals for nearly a decade now after replacing the disaster that was Brad St. Louis in 2009.
Since then, Harris has quietly and calmly snapped footballs on extra points, punts and field goals with no one noticing. The only time Harris has really been in the news during that span was last season when he missed time due to a groin injury. He ended up sidelined for three games as Tyler Ott was signed off the street to replace him.
Harris would return and snap for the final three games, and he’s now expected to keep his job in 2017 while entering a contract year. And while Ott did good in relief of Harris, the rookie wasn’t even signed to the Bengals’ 90-man offseason roster, leaving Harris as the only long-snapper on the roster right now, though Ryan Hewitt does have experience in this area, too.
Harris is pretty fun to follow on social media, too.
Little off season target practice pic.twitter.com/giUqYLaIL9— Clark Harris (@ClarkHarris46) April 1, 2017
You may remember his son also saw some internet fame after singing the National Anthem at a Rutgers basketball game in 2016.
Harris is a lock to make the final roster as long as he’s healthy. However, long-snappers don’t carry the same value as most players on a 53-man roster. They’re very expendable, and teams often won’t let them occupy a roster spot if injured.
So if Harris gets injured at some point in the preseason and is set to miss multiple regular-season games, the Bengals won’t feel as obligated to keep him and another healthy long-snapper as they would with other players at more important positions.
Even so, Harris is a lock to make the final roster as long as he escapes the preseason without a significant injury.
Odds: 90 percent.