One of the moves the Patriots made during the first week of free agency was trading Duron Harmon to the Lions.
Appearing on the Double Coverage Podcast hosted by Devin and Jason McCourty Sunday night, Harmon detailed the conversation he had with Bill Belichick following the deal where the coach explained why the trade needed to take place.
The veteran safety fully understood and is now looking forward to his new opportunity in Detroit.
“At the end of the day you have to look at it from both sides," Harmon said. "At the time, at the moment you hear you got traded and you’re like, ‘Aww, man.’ But, then you sit back and look at it and the Patriots had to make some decisions. We had the opportunity to play last year with so many great defensive players. It was so many players everywhere, and just with the salary cap I understand the decision. When I talked to Bill (Belichick) he told me what the decision was based on and he told me, ‘Look, it is just at the point where we have to make some moves and we just paid Dev (Devin McCourty), 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.’
"And he was just telling me it’s going to be a great opportunity for me (in Detroit). 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.”
The trade saved the Patriots roughly $4.5 million against the salary cap.
Harmon also explained the emotions he had to deal with and how he needed to be strong for his family.
“It was tough," he said. "It was a lot of emotions going through my head. You have to think about it, you know? I spent seven years here. You know me, this has been our home. We’ve raised three of our children in the New England area. This is all our kids know. This is what my family has grown accustomed to. At a blink of a phone call it all changed. You get overcame with a lot of different emotions. You just take a deep breath and try and decipher each emotion at one point. I had to realize it is not just affecting me, it is affecting my family so I have to be strong and I have to be the one to be there as a support system because it is a lot for them as well.
“It was tough, but after you get through the emotions I look at it from a football standpoint and it is a great opportunity. Get to go to Detroit and they have some young guys there, a lot of good football players in a place that is trying to win some games. I am looking forward to going there with a new opportunity with some people I am familiar with and try and help the team win some games.”