The Broncos have extended a second-round contract tender to free-agent-to-be Chris Harris, reports Tom Pelissero of USA Today (Twitter link). The one-year offer is worth $2.187MM for the 2014 season, and gives Denver the right of first refusal on any offer sheet Harris signs in free agency.
Harris, 24, started 15 games at cornerback for the Broncos in 2013, matching his career-high with three interceptions and grading as an impressive ninth out of 110 qualified corners, according to Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required). He likely would’ve been in line for a first-round tender from the Broncos had he not torn his ACL in January. While that injury raises some question marks about Harris’ status for this summer and fall, the tear was only partial, and he’s recovering well so far.
Harris will have the option of accepting the tender from the Broncos, and playing out the 2014 season on a one-year contract before becoming an unrestricted free agent a year from now. He could also sign an offer sheet with a rival suitor once free agency opens. In that case, Denver would have to decide whether to match the offer and bring Harris back, or whether to let him walk and receive a compensatory second-round pick.