|Chris Harris with Peyton Manning (AP) - +NFL +Denver Broncos|
Despite dealing with a torn left ACL that sidelined him for the Super Bowl and probably cost him $1 million in salary next season, the Denver Broncos' most versatile cornerback was thrilled to sign his one-year restricted free-agent tender Tuesday.
It will pay him $2,187,000 next season — or more than 1,000 times the $2,000 signing bonus he received four years ago as an undrafted college free agent.
|+Denver Broncos Courtesy (AP)|
Read how @ChrisHarrisJr is getting stronger every day with his rehab from ACL surgery: http://t.co/e6vY4kNaAN pic.twitter.com/fBge042Il3
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) April 2, 2014
For the fourth-year cornerback, his offseason R&R isn't rest and relaxation — it's rise and rehab.
Harris’ mornings begin at 7:30 a.m. at the +Denver Broncos' Dove Valley headquarters. Five days a week, Harris spends five hours a day at the team’s facility rehabbing from the ACL injury he suffered during the Broncos’ Divisional-Round win vs +Chargers.
“Oh, I haven’t missed a day,” Harris said. “I just wanted to make sure I come back next year better physically, mentally and everything. I knew that in order to come back, I had to be in here every day and put the work in and follow their instructions.”
Upon arrival, the first step in Harris’ daily rehab regimen is pool work. Then he hits the bike for a bit before working on strengthening his knee. Last on the agenda is core work.
“I’ve done so much core work now, it’s ridiculous,” Harris laughed. “Just really maintaining all the other muscles and strengthening this left leg. So whenever they say it’s time for me to run, I’ll be ready to go.”
Harris is hoping to come back and build upon a 2013 campaign that saw him tie for the club lead with three interceptions. His 65 tackles a year ago were second-most among Broncos’ defensive backs
CB @ChrisHarrisJr has signed his RFA tender. More details: http://t.co/EYPt2AW65P. pic.twitter.com/EcjwC7JjIL
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) April 1, 2014
His injury came away from the ball during Denver’s 24-17 win vs. San Diego in the AFC Divisional Round. Since then, Harris’ focus has been on doing everything he can to get back on the field in 2014.
“It’s coming along great,” he said of the rehab. “Just taking it day-by-day and following the instructions of the trainers. I’m feeling fine, I’m feeling great. I think I should be ready by the season.”
While many players chose to train or rehab away from Denver, Harris has done of all his work at the team’s facility.
“The reason why I did train here is because I know that ‘Greek’ (Head Athletic Trainer Steve Antonopulos) and them have our best interest in mind," he explained. "A lot of people do train away and do rehab other places, but I just feel like our trainers are the best out there.