Denver Broncos Solidify Secondary by Signing Chris Harris Jr. to Five Year Extension


Dec 7, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr. (25) runs the ball after an interception in the third quarter against the Buffalo Bills at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Bills 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos and cornerback Chris Harris Jr. have agreed on a five-year contract extension that will keep Harris in Denver through 2019. Mike Klis of the Denver Post broke the story on Friday afternoon. It’s a huge move for the Broncos who are facing an offseason with a number of their best players due to hit free agency.

The signing of Harris is big on so many levels but the biggest might be the message it sends to the locker room. It tells free agents to be such as Demaryius Thomas, Julius Thomas and Terrance Knighton that the Broncos will take care of their own.

According to Klis, the deal with Harris appeared to be dead in recent weeks but was revived when Vice-President of Football Operations, John Elway stepped in and gave the negotiations the push they needed to get something done.

Harris is in the midst of a fantastic season and has been rated as the number one cornerback by Pro Football Focus for the entire season. Harris rarely gives up receptions and is coming off a great game versus the Buffalo Bills.

Harris only gives up .59 yards per cover snap. That means every time an opposing quarterback drops back to pass, Harris is giving up less than a yard on those attempts. Harris is also a league best among cornerbacks with a rating of +22.8.

In addition to those numbers, Harris also leads the Broncos with three interceptions and multiple pass breakups. Harris, unlike other corners, can play both outside and in the slot making him even more valuable. There are other great cornerbacks in the NFL but very few, if any, can do what Harris does. He can take away an opposing team’s best receiver on the outside, and he can move inside and cover the league’s best slot receivers.

The deal with Harris also solidifies a secondary that figures to be together for at least the next four years. Fellow cornerback Aqib Talib is also signed through 2019 and rookie Bradley Roby has three years left on his rookie deal. Throw in safety, TJ Ward who signed a four year deal in the offseason and the back end of the Broncos defense is set.

In what is now a pass happy league, having a great and consistent secondary is a must and the Broncos now have that.

The Broncos and Elway still have work to do in locking up some other key players and it won’t be easy, but they proved on Friday that if a player performs for the Broncos then they will reward them.

Stats provided by Pro Football Focus and