Report: Broncos negotiating toward extension with Chris Harris

Sources tell Mike Klis the Broncos have commenced contract extension talks with cornerback Chris Harris.

Of course, that doesn't mean the two sides will come to an agreement anytime soon, or even later.

Denver recently tabled negotiations with Demaryius and Julius Thomas.

The fourth-year corner has made an astounding comeback from ACL surgery and is a pending unrestricted free agent. Harris was lost to a knee injury in the 2013 divisional round, but has started all eight of Denver's games this season, playing limited snaps only in the season opener.

Predicting a contract structure for Harris is somewhat difficult, as he's spent his entire career as a #2 or #3 corner but has consistently played like a #1. Naturally, that doesn't mean we won't try.

A look at the top deals for corners in terms of average annual value would suggest Harris is worth around $8M-10M per year.

Denver is already paying Aqib Talib $9.5M per year on a six-year deal, including $11.5M in full guarantees. But Talib's contract is essentially a series of six one-year deals, with the team holding all of the options.

Talib has been limited over the years by injuries and suspensions, perhaps affecting his ability to negotiate a stronger deal in terms of guaranteed money.

Meanwhile, Harris has missed only one regular season game in his 3.5 seasons, and has never created a single negative headline. He's been a complete player, showing a rare ability to play both inside and out, and adding physicality in the run game to boot.

Omitted from the national combine and undrafted out of Kansas, Harris joined Denver on a $2K signing bonus and earned minimum salaries of just $375K, $465K, and $555K in his first three years.

The 25-year old is playing on a $2.187M restricted tender, carrying just the 55th highest cap number among NFL corners this season.

He figures to be a hot commodity if he reaches free agency, which is extremely likely should this negotation fail.

Denver's franchise tag appears destined to be applied to one of the Thomases.

We'd expect a Harris contract to include around $15M in full guarantees, perhaps with an additional $10M in lesser guarantees extending into the second and third years of the deal.

By "lesser guarantees" we mean an injury-only guarantee that converts to a full guarantee shortly after the Super Bowl. This is different from what Talib has in his deal, where his injury-only guarantees for 2015 and 2016 only become fully guaranteed three days into those respective league years.

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM

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