The New York Jets released longtime starting inside linebacker David Harris, head coach Todd Bowles confirmed Tuesday.

Bowles said the release occurred after talks broke down regarding a renegotiated contract. Harris was due to make $6.5 million in 2017 in the final season of a three-year, $21.5 million contract.

Bowles called the move “an organizational decision,” and when asked why Harris was released now, Bowles replied, “That’s a good question. Talks broke down. It happened abruptly, obviously.”

“We were talking about a salary reduction,” Bowles said, according to the team website. “We couldn’t come to an agreement, and eventually it led to this.”

Bowles said talks had been going on the past several days.

“It wasn’t an easy time,” Bowles said. “David’s been a Jet all his life. He was born and bled green. He’s obviously a guy who is well-liked in the building. It’s part of the business, it’s never an easy thing to go through. There’s never a good time that it could happen. There was a breakdown in talks and that’s what led to this.”

Harris had practiced with the Jets on Tuesday before being released.

Another team might be willing to sign the 33-year-old Harris, who started 15 games for the Jets last season, and has been a starter in all of 10 seasons with the Jets. He had 62 tackles and 32 assists in 2016 while recording half a sack.



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