What's Going on With Broncos CB Chris Harris, Jr.?

Erick Trickel

Denver Broncos cornerback Chris Harris, Jr. is set to be a free agent after this season, which means the team has a decision to make. Do the Broncos try to re-sign him, or let him walk? 

This decision may be made easier by Harris' performance this season.

To put it nicely, Harris has not played close to the level that the Broncos have gotten from him since they picked him up as an undrafted free agent in 2011. There once was a streak where he didn’t allow a touchdown for more than 20 straight games, but he has allowed four of them this season.

Not only has it been the touchdowns relinquished, but also key first downs that have kept drives alive and led to points. Harris' play in coverage has left a lot to be desired, and seeing him give up a big play only to point the finger at someone else’s feet has become like a broken record. 

It isn’t just Harris' play in coverage that has declined, but also his run support. The worst of it came when watching him backpedal for 15-20 yards as a running back came right at him instead of sticking his nose in there and trying to make a play vs the Chargers in Week 13.

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With his play, it is hard to justify the Broncos paying Harris what he is purportedly looking for after seeing his play this season. Denver is a team that isn’t right around the corner from being contenders and at this stage, such a situation is where Harris has the most value. 

Another team could find that value in him if he is viewed as the missing piece they need to really boost their defense. If the Broncos let Harris walk in free agency, the team would be in line for a 2021 compensatory pick. 

Of course, there are other factors in play when it comes to the compensatory formula. That pick could get canceled out with a signing the Broncos make and the placement of the pick would depend on multiple factors, the biggest being Harris' contract with his next team. 

With that in mind, it may be best for the Broncos to let Harris walk, look to maximize the compensatory pick, and start rebuilding their cornerback room. Check out the video above for the full story. 

Follow Erick on Twitter @ErickTrickel and @MileHighHuddle. 

Comments (12)
No. 1-6
smilinassassin
smilinassassin

His struggles in run support make me speculate that he is making business decisions. Maybe not in a purposeful sense, but something that is in the back of his mind. I mean, the guy finished last year injured and this season is lost for Denver. Why risk lowering your value for your last big contract?

I’ve heard that next years cornerback free agent market is strong. Is there a list of players set to hit the market anywhere?

Rideordiedbfan
Rideordiedbfan

I think its just adjusting to a new system. If we keep him I think he will ball out next season. Why didn't they just trade him if they aren't going to resign him

gerig
gerig

Once these guys land the big money the play seems to immediately decline, Harris, Miller etc....trade trade trade

EchoChamber
EchoChamber

No prime Miller and no Chubb has hurt badly. So to me not on all CHJr and personally I would have traded him if there were any decent offers of equitable compensation but no way am I paying him elite CB1 money this offseason. He will have to get that bag o' money elsewhere. If he truly wants to stay and for money that recognizes this season happened and is on his resume, cool.

Denverkewl
Denverkewl

How about Elway making the right call not to pay him in the spring? Can you imagine if he did and this then is what we got for $15 mm...so far we can pay Yiadom to give up TDs and 3rd downs...many of these plays led directly to losses. CHJ is more than a disappointment - running the wrong way in zone vs man and gifting a free TD?? WTF? It's almost like he's throwing the game...you think GMs are gonna pony up for this year's film?

Pmanningsir1
Pmanningsir1

In the past Harris has capitalized on the pass rush being good and him having above average smart when it cones to schemes offenses utilize. No way is he an elite shutdown corner. Just ask keenan allen.


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