Denver Broncos offseason: Extending Chris Harris Jr. a priority
The top priority for the Denver Broncos should be to sign cornerback Chris Harris Jr. to a long-term extension keeping him where he is at.
Chris Harris Jr.’s story is a story of overcoming adversity. Harris went undrafted in 2011 out of Kansas, but after an uphill climb ended up starring with the Denver Broncos to become one of the team’s best cornerbacks.
We recently mentioned how Darrell Green was instrumental to Champ Bailey’s career in an article. Bailey was the same for Harris in the remaining years Bailey had in Denver (they were together for three seasons from 2011-13).
Fast forward to the present day and Harris finds himself back into a conversation just like Bailey. Harris is the team’s best cornerback and undoubtedly the most versatile. Harris is the consummate professional and teammate. He provides that swagger which rubs off on the rest of the team.
Like Bailey, Denver should invest in keeping Harris long-term. His place on the team gives the defense a plethora of options.
Harris grew up in the NFL as a slot cornerback and became the best at it. Last season Harris was asked to be on an island: The shutdown corner island. Throughout his career, he has proven to be a weapon on defense and one quarterbacks need to identify pre-snap.
Harris did see some drop-off, but this seems more due to the offensive struggles than the defense. You can only be on the field for so long.
At the top of the game, you will not find a player capable of doing everything Harris does on defense as a cornerback. One of the most underrated traits he learned from Bailey is doing the dirty work in the running game.
Harris became strong in the slot and recently showed he can be just as effective on the outside. He is more than capable of handling his own as a cornerback with any responsibility.
It would be best served to reward Harris with a contract extension. The numbers will figure themselves out, but look for the Denver Broncos to entertain locking up Harris for the foreseeable future.