According to Mike Klis of the Denver Post the Denver Broncos have signed cornerback Chris Harris Jr. to a new five-year $42.5 million contract extension. This deal makes Harris the highest paid "number two" corner in the entire league.
BREAKING: #Broncos, @ChrisHarrisJr agree on contract extension. DETAILS: http://t.co/TooiQfVIxs pic.twitter.com/AFoWS1bXyr— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) December 13, 2014
This new deal will keep Harris with the Broncos through the 2019 season. His deal includes a 10 million dollar signing bonus and will pay him $18 million through the first two years of his contract. That's the same two year amount that teammate Aqib Talib received last year from the Broncos. This deal makes Harris the 12th highest paid corner in the league.
The Broncos opened contract talks back in early November, but the deal apparently hit a "snag" per reports. According to Klis, the negotiations heated back up after Denver Broncos GM John Elway became personally involved with this deal. That's when things got done, and Harris and the Broncos agreed on the contract extension.
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Here's what Denver Broncos General Manager John Elway had to say about the Chris Harris contract extension.
"Chris is a young, ascending player who has consistently performed at a high level during his first four years in the NFL," Elway said. "He joined the Broncos as a college free agent and has worked tirelessly to become one of the league’s best at his position.
It’s a priority for us to develop and reward our own players as we continue assembling the best possible team. Whether it’s on the field or in the community, we are proud to have Chris representing the Broncos for many years to come."
Harris has earned every penny of this contract. Pro Football Focus has Harris listed as their No. 1 corner in the entire NFL right now. He was ranked the fifth best corners in 2012, and the eighth best in 2013.
So far in 2014, Harris has started every game for the Broncos and has totaled 45 tackles (43 solo), three interceptions (52 yards), one sack (2 yards), 15 passes defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. According to Pro Football Focus, he has allowed the second-lowest quarterback rating (46.9) while yielding the fewest yards per reception (7.5) in coverage (min. 75% snaps played) as the website’s top-rated cornerback through Week 14.
Chris Harris has a +22.8 @PFF coverage grade this season. Next-highest CB, Darrelle Revis, is +14.0. #Broncos— Pete Damilatis (@PFF_Pete) December 12, 2014
This deal shows that the Denver Broncos and John Elway are willing to take care of their own players. This should bode well for them with guys like Demaryius Thomas, Terrence Knighton and Julius Thomas all being free agents at years end.
This is exciting news for the Broncos and Broncos Country. Congrats Chris Harris on the well deserved deal.