Amidst all the draft selections and resulting swirl, the cloud still hanging over Denver’s offseason currently is the situation with All-Pro cornerback Chris Harris.
While there hasn’t been any new movement on that front, Elway’s comments at his news conference last night indicate that he is still open to working something out with Harris after the draft, which is the position Denver has maintained throughout this process.
When asked if anyone had inquired about Harris and if he would be open to talking about the contract situation after the draft, Elway replied, “No. I did not hear [from] anybody about Chris today. And, as I said the last three times, when the draft is over I’ll be glad to talk to Chris and see what we can do.”
In addition to that, ESPN’s Josina Anderson tweeted this morning that Elway indeed does want to talk personally with Harris.
Although it is being leaked that John Elway would like to now have a talk directly with Chris Harris, my understanding is that the #Broncos CB does not intend to budge until the money moves. Besides, Harris has an agent that is available for that communication. #PayOrTrade— ig: josinaanderson (@JosinaAnderson) April 27, 2019
This makes sense, as this situation to me echoes parts of the Von Miller negotiations. Miller was initially upset and offended at the business portion of the contract negotiations by Elway, but once he was able to sit down man-to-man with Elway and hear from him, they were able to work things out. Hopefully the same thing can happen here.
Am I the only one who is seeing echoes of the Von Miller situation with Chris Harris? Von was initially offended and felt disrespected by the business side of Elway's negotiations, then Elway talked to him personally and they worked it out.— Jeffrey Essary (@JeffreyEssary) April 27, 2019
Hoping the same can happen with CHJ.
One more component to this that was alluded to by Benjamin Allbright, is that Elway perhaps feels that negotiations would be more fruitful directly with Chris Harris.
There's a reason Elway wants to skip the agent and talk directly to Harris.— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) April 27, 2019
A good one. https://t.co/lyEsPb0vNH
I'm not saying he doesnt deserve the $, I'm saying Lyles is the stumbling block right now.— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) April 27, 2019
Ian Rapaport reported a few days ago that during initial negotiation talks, things got heated with Harris’ agent and the Broncos organization, and that’s where the trade demands bubbled up from.
Going into speculation mode here, but it seems that Elway is hoping he and Harris can get into a room together and cooler heads can prevail as they attempt to mutually work something out, as opposed to ultimatums and shots via social media and reporters.
Lastly, this is again my personal opinion, but I’m not buying the “Harris has an agent available for that kind of communication” line. The only person who would say that or care about that is an agent who is potentially trying to stir the pot and keep the pressure on the organization.
Harris has said multiple times throughout the process that he wants to retire a Bronco, yet there are trade ultimatums being brought that don’t seem consistent with that.
I’m hopeful that once the draft is over and the negotiating tactics are put aside, Elway and Harris can sit together and work something out.