Broncos Extend Chris Harris for $42.5 Million over 5 Years

The Denver Broncos have agreed to a contract extension with cornerback Chris Harris that is worth $42.5 million over the next five years. According to Mike Klis of the Denver Post, Harris will recieve a $10 million signing bonus. That bonus will be prorated starting in 2014 so the Broncos will use $2 million of their salary cap space now on Harris rather than carrying it over to next season.While I have not seen the yearly cash flows on the contract outside of the signing bonus, the overall numbers read as if it was an acceptance of being a number two cornerback by Harris.

The top players at the position, who Harris statistically compares favorbly to, will earn at least $45 million over the first three years of their contract extensions. Considering Harris will earn$42.5 over 5 it is clear he was not looked at as that level of player. I would have thought that Harris would have fetched in the ballpark of $10 million a season if he had entered free agency. Of course there is always a risk with that line of thinking. Harris still has many weeks of football left to play in which he could be injured. There is also the chance that teams would not view him as a number 1. Last year it was expected that Alterraun Verner would cash in big in free agency and he ended up settling for a number 2 level contract in Tampa Bay. Harris will be the peak earner among number 2 corners.

For the Broncos this marks another in a long line of what look to be discounted contracts for the team. Whether its the Peyton Manning factor or the organization itself, Denver does an excellent job of getting the most value out of their contracts and making players want to play in Denver rather than having to convince them with big money offers. Considering that Aqib Talib’s contract could be terminated at any time it is likely that Harris will take on the number 1 role in the next two years while being paid number 2 money. That saved money can go towards fixing other holes in the future.

In general the cornerback market is very interesting. While nobody will dispute the talent at the top of the market (Revis, Peterson, Sherman, and Haden) there is a major premium paid for those players. It does seem as if name value pushes the pricing at this position more than almost any other and these players have all done an exceptional job of establishing a brand and presence to hammer home the fact how talented they are. Once Revis signs an extension in New England those players will all earn in the ballpark of $14 million a season. The drop from there is between $4.5 and $5.5 million  year when we get into the next tier of contracts signed by Sam Shields, Vontae Davis, and Talib. Are those players bringing $5 million worth of additional value? Probably not.

When we can get the full details of the Harris contract we will update his page accordingly.

  • buk

    So does this mean as things stand now Antonio Cromartie is the top corner expected to hit free agency next year??? As a Jet fan it’s been a long time since I’ve been this bitter as it appears each and every team with any hope of contending for playoffs resigned or a signed a big name player to their secondary. Only Idzik from the Jets and the Panthers GM neglected the position in free agency or failed to resign some players in their secondary and their defense has paid the price.
    I’d gladly cut Harvin and the pay the 10 mil he was due to CB like Vontae Davis or Talib. Every down corners under 30yrs old likely to give you at least play 13 games a year or more . Didn’t take long for Seattle to realize players like Harvin are a luxury and CBs who can cover are a necessity. I’m so glad Woody gave Idzik no vote of confidence with his recent comments because clearly the man has no clue how a team should be put together. Trading and cutting Revis and Cro and expecting CB draft picks like Milliner or McDougle to have a big impact was fool’s gold. I’d rather overpay for a free agent CB who has track record that he can cover than relying on high draft CB picks for a position notoriously hard to develop in the pros.

    • Paul Newbold

      Trade Harvin in the off season, save the 10 million and sign Vontae Davis. Harvin likely will bring a bit more than the 6th we surrendered to get him. He’s had a good showing for the Jets, but with his injury record, he’s not a 10 mill/yr guy!

      • NW86

        Exactly, he’s not a 10 mil/yr guy, which is why no one would be offering much to trade for him and take that salary on.

      • buk

        Vontae Davis was resigned last year by Colts but he did hit free agency. My point was if you are going to trade mid season to acquire a 10 million a year player like Harvin why didn’t Idzik sign an NFL caliber CB last year. It’s not like the Jets ever believed Patterson was a long term solution and even if Milliner had a good season the need at corner was glaring. Now Jets are in an even more desperate situation at corner with a ton of cap room which will make agent’s more leverage during negotiations with the Jets. Worse still is that the expected CB market for next year is a lot thinner than last offseason. Revis and Antonio Cromartie will want long term deals and have a negative history with the Jets.
        Harris is off the CB free agent market as well and Sanchez(another former Jet) will likely be the top free agent cornerback.
        I have to say that the Jets record, how the Jet draft picks have performed vs other teams and Idzik’s lack of urgency in free agency makes Mr. Idzik’s performance look absolutely awful.

    • Jef Rogers

      Harvin has zero dollars guaranteed, so he is likely to restructure at a lower rate to gain security.

      • buk

        Harvin would have to accept 9 million each of the next two seasons fully guaranteed or the Jets should cut him. 9 Mil is below Jordy Nelson and still above Decker,Desean Jackson and Golden Tate who were the 3 big WR free agent signings last year. No way Jets should pay him anymore than 18 mil guaranteed for next two which would total 27 mil Jet payout including the 7 mil we owe him for 9 games this season. As for Harvin I don’t think we would accept less from the Jets unless they offered gurantees that extend into a 3rd or 4th year which makes no sense.
        Jets are in a need position and whoever is in charge needs to sign Wilkerson and make decision on Harvin quickly. I’d part ways with Vick and sign veteran Hoyer to a 4-5 mil per year deal which is high end Vick,Matt Moore,Orton,McCown back ups who can start money. Hoyer is not exciting but is under 30 and shown more consistency than Geno ever has. He’ll relish a true comp with Geno in training camp and if Jets draft a QB high they can sit behind Hoyer for a year.

  • remy_g

    funny thing is the 2nd tier has been outperforming or matching 1st tier CB.

  • DragonPie

    As a Broncos fan, I am gleeful. Harris was a very good CB last year and the year before. This year, he has been absolutely dominant.

  • Kirk Vollmer

    From my understanding Vontae Davis in terms of passer rating when thrown his way is outperforming all of them. May help though that the Colts havn’t faced too many good QB’s. Patrick Peterson is honestly extremely overrated IMO. Seems like he got big money cause he was drafted high and got in a twitter flame war with Richard Sherman.

    • eddiea

      I think, he’d be better if they just put him at FS full time. He shouldn’t be an every down CB. Either way, he’s not really over rated but misused. But you got to admit, Sherman did handle him on twitter.

  • Nundja Biznus

    Such awkward and stilted writing.
    Did you translate this from another language?