According to Mike Klis of 9News, John Elway did speak with Harris’ agent, Frederick Lyles, and the price hasn’t budget. Lyles wants $15 million a year for his client and nothing has yet deterred him from that asking price.
During his conversation with Elway, Lyles reiterated his asking price. Sources say it was unchanged from what 9News reported three weeks ago – an annual average salary greater than $15 million.
A source said the Broncos will not be trading Harris. One team expressed interest in acquiring Harris in the hours prior to the draft, but backed off, the source said.
If Lyles isn’t willing to negotiate, then there might be no way to resolve this situation. The Broncos are unlikely to fork over that kind of money for an aging veteran - no matter how great of a career he has had.
Klis went on to note that Elway and Lyles will speak again next week where the Broncos are expected to submit a counteroffer. If Lyles and Harris refuse to budge on their demands, then it could get ugly again from there.
Broncos lead negotiator Mike Sullivan and general manager John Elway have each spoken to Chris Harris' agent over the last couple of weeks, and the expectation is they will continue to talk, per source.— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) May 11, 2019
If the impasse drags into early June, that is when we’ll find out just how serious Harris is about holding out. If he skips mandatory minicamp from June 4-6, he’ll then be subject to fines up to $90,000.
On Saturday, new Broncos defensive coordinator Ed Donatell expressed his belief that both sides will ultimately work things out.
“That’s a situation we think is going to unfold in a good way, sooner rather than later,” said Donatell. “It’s just a great time to develop some depth with the guys we have and the young guys. We’re using it as an advantage for right now.”
For now, Harris is working out on his own per Troy Renck of Channel 7. Harris is a future Ring of Fame player, so we don’t have to worry about him coming back to practice out of shape or behind schedule in his rehab. His championship work ethic is how Harris went from undrafted to NFL superstar.
As fans, we just hope the work this out sooner rather than later. A contract extension now would ensure Harris finishes the majority of his premier player years under contract playing for the Denver Broncos. That’s a situation we all hope for.