Friday, March 7, 2014

Broncos give Chris Harris, DB, 2nd round Tender

Unrein, Marshall, Carter, and Ihenacho given Tender Offers too. Holliday to become a free agent (basically released)

+NBC Sports "Pro Football Talk's" ranked Chris Harris as the top restricted free agent in the NFL 2014 off-season. The Broncos revealed those sentiments, by offering the second highest tender available, to Chris Harris. First reported by +USA TODAY Sports, the Broncos have tendered cornerback Chris Harris a one-year, $2.187 million contract.

Harris, 24, has started 27 games in the last two seasons for Denver. Harris, the former +Kansas Jayhawks alum, suffered a (partially) torn ACL in the Broncos’ divisional round playoff victory vs. the +Chargers in January.

Were a team to sign Harris to an offer sheet that the Broncos declined to match, the signing team would surrender its 2014 second-round pick to Denver. Considering Harris’ injury and the relatively high cost to sign him away, it’s difficult to see a team making a run at the cornerback.

Chris Harris Jr., +Denver Broncos CB, makes a tackle at the +Houston Texans 2013 Season (Week 16)
Photo Courtesy: Denver Broncos +The Associated Press (AP)
Nevertheless, the second-round tender for Harris makes sense on multiple levels. Harris played well last season, and a nice bump in compensation is deserved. Moreover, Harris is a former undrafted free agent, so the Broncos couldn’t go any lower on a contract offer, lest they just retained the right to match any offer sheet without receiving any compensation were Harris to depart.

Chris Harris Jr at Denver Broncos practice with Kayvon Webster, both CB's for the Denver Broncos
Photo Courtesy: Denver Broncos (AP) 
Also tendered by the Broncos were safety Duke Ihenacho, who started for them this year as a former undrafted free agent out of San Jose State, defensive tackle Mitch Unrein, linebacker Brandon Marshall (no relation to the former Broncos receiver), and cornerback Tony Carter.

These are the first moves the Broncos have made in an attempt to keep players on their roster so far before free agency, with the negotiating period starting between teams and agents at noon EST on Saturday. Free agents can visit teams on Tuesday.

The Broncos, as expected, will not tender return specialist Trindon Holliday, who will become a free agent.