Last week, Chris Harris Jr. made a statement about his desire for an extension to his current deal with the Denver Broncos by skipping the first week of the team’s workout program.
But, if things come to the logical conclusion laid out by “The Drive” co-hosts DMac and Chad Brown on Monday, things between Harris and the Broncos could get a lot hairier than just missing a few drills at Dove Valley.
“The correct action for both sides does not benefit the other side,” Brown said. “Because Chris needs to hold out and get a long-term deal. The Broncos need to spend as little money and tie up as few years as possible because he’s a player who’s getting older.”
Harris enters the final year of his deal with Denver in 2019 after signing a five-year $42.5 million extension in late 2014. He’s expected to earn $7.8 million in base salary this season.
In Harris’ corner, Pro Football Focus ranked him as the third-best cornerback in the NFL in 2018 and perennially grade him among the best at his position.
In the Broncos’ corner, Harris turns 30 in June and is coming off a fractured fibula that ended his season prematurely in 2018.
On Monday, DMac asked, from Harris’ perspective, why he would “show up to anything,” but also said he understands the Broncos management side of things as well.
“I would love to get one more year out of Chris Harris, but it only works if he’s going to show up. And he’s not,” DMac said. “Because he wants guaranteed money and a new deal, which he’s well within his rights.”
Brown said his first inclination, as Broncos management, would be to do nothing. But considering how Antonio Brown’s saga with the Pittsburgh Steelers played out, players of Harris’ caliber may yield quite a bit of clout.
“If I’m his agent, in this situation, I’m looking and feeling empowered by what Antonio Brown did,” Brown said. “And we are having some serious discussions with Chris on how far (he is) willing to go.”
And such a “sticky” situation, as both Brown and DMac put it, leads Denver down a somber path.
“You know what they have to do? They have to trade him,” DMac said. “It sucks.”
And while Denver has to trade Harris, DMac said, the veteran cornerback also has to not only be “OK” with it but also potentially “posture a little bit to ask for it.”
“Their needs, individually, don’t line up for each other. Chris Harris wants big-time money, a long-term deal, and he wants guaranteed money. The Broncos, clearly, aren’t interested in doing any of that,” Brown said. “He’s got to pull an Antonio.”
Follow digital content producer Johnny Hart on Twitter: @JohnnyHart7.
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