At the conclusion of last weekend’s game in Indianapolis, most fans, and even an emotional Von Miller, were on the brink of waving goodbye to standout cornerback Chris Harris, Jr.
The NFL trade deadline has come and gone, though, revealing that GM John Elway's decision to hold onto his remaining veteran assets. As a result, we all get to see Harris suit up as usual with the familiar task at hand of blunting the effectiveness of the league’s top pass catchers.
Harris was all business this week, even in the midst of trade rumors and his wife expecting their fourth daughter imminently. With the Cleveland Browns rolling into the Mile High City this Sunday, Harris made it clear his focus was on the game and his desire to lock horns with OBJ.
“He’s the best receiver on their team," Harris said on Wednesday. "Landry, he has a lot of catches and he’s been great in the league. No disrespect to him. I’ve had great battles with him too, but in their offense, (Beckham) is their big-play guy.”
This statement from Harris should really come as no surprise given the last two games have seen the Pro Bowl cornerback keep the likes of Tyreek Hill and T.Y Hilton fairly quiet. Harris also has years of experience of keeping the game's flashiest talents away from winning their personal battles against him.
For any head coach, it’s a dream scenario to be able to send a cornerback out every week when he is willing and capable of performing on his own island. Clearly, Vic Fangio is fully aware of what it takes to fill such a role.
“He’s strictly been a corner for us for the most part because of where we’re at," Fangio said on Wednesday. "He’s versatile, smart and can cover. He’s what you want in a DB.”
With the ringing endorsements of his head coach, it seems Elway similarly prizes Harris more than any draft capital he was offered at the deadline. Elway might also see that his former Super Bowl 50 champ might be worth more than the one-year raise he received this past offseason.
Harris, as is customary of his business-like persona, decided to reinforce the career goals he has long held.
“Definitely relieved and happy to be able to finish the year here," Harris said. "That’s what I wanted. That was the goal at the beginning of the year to finish the year here and see what happens at the end of the year.”
Any reasoning behind trading Harris has now been confined to history and what’s emerging beyond his playing skills is the sheer value of his locker room presence. With the young corners on the Broncos' roster requiring some mentoring, Harris seems more than willing to pass on his wealth of knowledge to help the likes of Davontae Harris and Duke Dawson, Jr. as they make their way up.
All things considered, a longer stay might be the best all-round solution for both parties involved when negotiations reopen at season's end. For now, Harris and his growing family get to stick around Mile High a little bit longer at least.