Franchises usually have one, maybe two, generational players on their roster at any given time. Those players are those who embody everything it means to be part of that team. For the Denver Broncos over the last eight seasons, it has been Von Miller and Chris Harris Jr. carrying that torch.
Granted, there was Peyton Manning, DeMarcus Ware, and Aqib Talib, but they were merely short-term Hall of Fame caliber talent brought in to help push the franchise to even greater heights. And that plan worked with two Super Bowl berths and a title since John Elway took over football operations in 2011.
Harris, an undrafted college free agent, gave Elway a hometown discount in 2014 signing a five-year deal worth $42.5 million despite there being a lucrative market for elite cornerback play in the NFL. Since then, all Harris has done is continue to evolve into one of the leagues elite cornerbacks who is also considered the best shutdown corner in the slot position in the entire NFL.
Now entering the final year of is contract, Harris told Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post that he is open to an extension before hitting the open market in 2020.
“Definitely open to an extension, whenever they call me,” Harris said. “I’m 29 right now. But I have a lot of juice left. I’m not close to being done. I feel like I’m getting better.”
He’s not wrong. At the cornerback position, athleticism matters a heck of a lot less than technique and smarts as a player gets older. Harris was never the fastest player out there, but he was usually one of the smartest and used the best technique in coverage. Those kind of players have longevity at this position.
As player who also help define the franchise throughout his career playing the back end while Von Miller rushed the front end, he is clearly one of those generational players a franchise has and should be given a contract extension to keep him in Denver at least until the very latter part of his playing career.
Besides, who else do you want on defense than Harris to keep the championship edge sharp as John Elway attempts to turn things around over the next year or two?
Should the Broncos give a contract extension to Chris Harris Jr?
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