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Broncos tender Chris Harris Jr., Duke Ihenacho, and Tony Carter

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It's a second round tender for the originally undrafted Broncos cornerback, while Duke Ihenacho and Tony Carter each received expected undrafted tenders.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos took steps to retain Chris Harris Jr., Duke Ihenacho and Tony Carter ahead of the start of free agency on Tuesday. Harris, a restricted free agent, was tendered at the second round level while Carter and Ihenacho were also tendered at lower levels.

That tender means that another team could offer a Harris a contract. If the Broncos were to decline to match the offer, that team would have to give the Broncos a second round pick for the rights to Harris.

It shouldn't come as a surprise either. Scotty Payne predicted this:

I believe the Broncos will slap Chris Harris with a 1st or 2nd round tender this offseason. He will back with the Broncos no matter what as they will match any offers sent Harris's way.

Unlike the tender for Harris, the Broncos would not receive any compensation for Carter or Ihenacho if another team were to make them a matching offer.

The three defensive backs reinforce a depth chart that is appearing a bit thin with it looking like the team will allow unrestricted free agents Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Mike Adams to test free agency.

A total of five Broncos received tenders from the team this afternoon.

The deadline for teams to tender their restricted free agents is March 11th at 4:00 PM ET.