Things appear to be inching in the right direction for the Broncos and star cornerback Chris Harris. After weeks of no communication, Broncos general manager John Elway spoke directly with Harris’ agent last week, sources told Mike Klis of Denver9News.
Sources also told Klis that Harris’ camp is holding firm in their demand for more than $15MM annually on a new contract. While it doesn’t sound like a new deal is particularly close, the good news is that a source told Klis rather definitively that the team will not be trading Harris. The last we heard a couple of weeks ago, there had been no talks between the two sides, and teams were reportedly still interested in trading for Harris.
For a while it seemed like a trade was imminent, but Klis makes it sound like a deal was never actually that close to happening. A source told Klis that one team “expressed interest in acquiring Harris in the hours prior to the draft, but backed off” in the end. Harris, 29, has been staying away from the team’s offseason program after demanding a new contract or a trade.
Harris reportedly felt disrespected by the Broncos’ decision to give Kareem Jackson, an older and less accomplished cornerback, a massive three-year, $33MM deal before paying him. Harris entered the league as an undrafted free agent out of Kansas back in 2011, and he’s been with the team ever since.
He’s blossomed into one of the best UDFA signings in recent memory, and has made the Pro Bowl in four of the last five seasons. A three-time All-Pro selection, Harris has a strong sentimental connection with the fanbase since he’s one of the last remaining members of Denver’s legendary Super Bowl winning defense.
For what it’s worth, new Broncos defensive coordinator Ed Donatell sounds optimistic that something will get done soon. “That’s a situation we think is going to unfold in a good way sooner rather than later,” Donatell said when speaking to the media earlier today. A source told Klis that Elway and Harris’ agent plan to speak again next week, “at which time Elway is expected to submit a counteroffer,” so we should have another update on the situation soon.
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