The Broncos have opened contract extension negotiations with cornerback Chris Harris, according to NFL sources.
One of the team's most pleasant surprises since the Broncos signed him to a mere $2,000 bonus as an undrafted rookie out of Kansas in 2011, Harris is eligible for unrestricted free agency after this season.
What kind of contract would it take for the Broncos to secure Harris for the long term? Based on how he's been graded by Pro Football Focus, Harris doesn't have to be shy about his asking price. Entering the Broncos' Week 10 game Sunday at Oakland, Harris has the third-best overall rating among NFL cornerbacks, behind the Indianapolis Colts' Vontae Davis and San Diego's Brandon Flowers.
Chris Harris Jr. has consistently been one of the best players on the Bronco defense since he made the team as an UDFA in 2011. He made his bones on the inside as a slot corner and has become an elite talent that is capable of playing both on the outside and inside.
On the season Harris Jr. has been targeted 45 times and has allowed 22 receptions (48.9%) for 185 yards (8.4 per reception) with 2 interceptions, and 7 passes defensed. Quarterbacks have a 41.4 passer rating when targeting Harris Jr.
Last week he shut down Julian Edelman and Brandon LaFell to the tune of 47 yards on 6 catches. He has yet to allow a touchdown on the season.
The Broncos will see many of the players on the current roster reach unrestricted free agency this offseason, but like Demaryius Thomas, Chris Harris Jr. should be a priority. If the Broncos are able to lock him up, they will have a very talented secondary for the next 3-4 seasons. Aqib Talib figures to play out at least two more years on his contract while rookie 1st rounder Bradley Roby will be locked up for the next four seasons. Get the deal done Mr. Elway.
Mile High Report will keep you updated as details emerge