Broncos' Chris Harris Jr. Says He's Focused on Raiders Game Ahead of Free Agency

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistDecember 24, 2019

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 22:  Chris Harris #25 of the Denver Broncos smiles as he warms up before a game against the Detroit Lions at Empower Field at Mile High on December 22, 2019 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Sunday's game could be Chris Harris Jr.'s final appearance in a Denver Broncos uniform as his contract is set to expire at the end of the season, but the cornerback is keeping his focus on the Oakland Raiders, not his looming free agency. 

"Man, I'm just so thankful to the Broncos. I had a great nine years here, whatever happens happens," Harris told reporters Tuesday (around the 0:54 mark). "I'm just focusing on finishing the year strong and do whatever I can to into the game with a clear mind and play the best I can."

Since signing with Denver as undrafted free agent out of Kansas in 2011, Harris has spent his entire nine-year career with the team. He was a key member of the Broncos' "No Fly Zone" defense, which powered the way to the franchise's third Lombardi Trophy in 2015-16.

Harris has earned four Pro Bowl selections as well as one All-Pro nod in his career.

As he was set to enter the final year of his current contract, Harris requested either a new deal or a trade back in April. He did not wind up landing a multi-year deal, but he did receive a sizable bump in pay, with the Broncos upping his 2019 salary to $12.05 million from $8.9 million.

Denver Broncos @Broncos

President of Football Operations/GM @johnelway on @chrisharrisjr’s new one-year deal: https://t.co/g50dBAviOs

Chris Harris @ChrisHarrisJr

Thanks @johnelway @Broncos Ima put on a show this year . Let’s get it #StrapHarris

In May, he let it be known that he was looking to get paid come free agency:

Mike Klis @MikeKlis

Talked to Chris Harris Jr.: "I'm ready to roll. I'm ready to get back with the team and start working on the camraderie with my teammates. ... "I'm the 4th cornerback this year (in 2019 cash) and after this season I'll hit free agency and be No. 1.'' #9sports

Through 15 games, the 30-year-old defensive back has recorded 54 total tackles, his most since 2016. He also has six pass deflections, one interception and one forced fumble.

Denver (6-9) will miss the postseason for the fourth consecutive season.

It's not clear if the Broncos will look to bring Harris back or if they will look for a younger and/or cheaper alternative. If the two sides go their separate ways, there should be no shortage of interest in Harris on the open market:


Chris Harris Jr.'s coverage grade from the slot is far and away the best in the PFF era for a cornerback. https://t.co/Llx2TgzF0v

This weekend will give Harris one final opportunity to show all 32 teams what he can do on the field.