When Charles Harris came to Allen Park to sign his new free-agent contract with the Lions, he got the opportunity to speak with Lions owner Sheila Ford Hamp.
Harris said Hamp had one main message for him: 'Go get the quarterback."
"With that comes a sense of responsibility," Harris said of that conversation with Hamp. "It's deeper than just, 'I understand.' It's more so, 'I'll get it done for you.' It almost personalizes it, if that makes sense.
"You know, somebody asks for something, they ask for you to do it, they bring you on board, bring you out to their team, their city, their franchise and they make a request of you. It's up to you as an individual to get it done."
Harris, 26, was Miami's first-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, taken one spot after the Lions selected linebacker Jarrad Davis. He has just 6.5 sacks in four years, three of which came last season in Atlanta after the Dolphins traded him for a seventh-round pick, but a change in scenery and higher expectations has Harris hoping he can be a consistent contributor in new defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn's scheme.
"I believe I'm very versatile in regards to being able to have my hand down," Harris said. "That's kind of what us as a defense is trying to more so do is having a 3-4 and 4-3 look. I think that's something that fits my qualities."
Harris has appeared in 54 games, making nine starts and recording 79 tackles and 6.5 sacks in four seasons.
The 6-foot-3, 252-pound Harris will join an edge rotation headed by Trey Flowers and Romeo Okwara, with Julian Okwara and Austin Bryant also in the mix.
The addition of Harris is the third move the Lions have made in the last week to shore up their defensive front. The team moved quickly at the beginning of free agency to re-sign Okwara, their sack leader from a year ago. The Lions agreed to send a future seventh-round pick to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for veteran defensive tackle Michael Brockers, another former first-round draft pick.
Harris is excited to join a group of mostly veterans upfront in Detroit. He appears to have the drive to get better, and the Lions are hoping they can tap into some consistent pass-rush production that's eluded Harris most of early career.