Show him the money.
As expected, Harris was absent Monday for the beginning of organized team activity. Miller, who was seeking a new contract from the same collective once upon a time, said he speaks with Harris “all the time.” And he believes the veteran cornerback “100 percent” deserves an extension, notably because he’s a model member of the organization.
“He does every single thing right, on and off the football field,” Miller told reporters. “Undrafted free agent. Played well through his first contract. Got a second contract. Played well through the second contract.
“Sometimes, when you first get here, they tell if you play and you play well, they’ll take care of you and if you do the right things in the community and you do all the right things on the football field, they’ll take care of you. Chris has definitely done everything right and then some.
“But it’s not all simple. It’s not all as easy as it seems, and I understand that. I’ve been through that before. But guys like Chris Harris, who have done it all and really hit all the check marks and all the boxes, you want to take care of guys like that.”
This isn’t merely a teammate looking out for one of his own. Harris has established himself as one of the most popular players in the organization by making four Pro Bowls in the past five seasons and earning three All-Pro nods in his eight-year career. He’s the last remaining member of Denver’s “No Fly Zone” secondary and one of just three defensive starters from the Super Bowl 50 squad, along with Miller and defensive end Derek Wolfe.
The 29-year-old Harris is set to make $7.8 million in base salary this season, which is closer to the median than the top for starting corners. NFL Network’s James Palmer reported in late April that Harris is seeking a new deal that would pay him $15 million annually but that contract negotiations between the Broncos and Harris had not begun.
Until a resolution is reached, don’t expect to see him at OTAs. Especially with Miller in his ear. When asked Monday if he had any regret over his contract dispute with the Broncos three years ago, Miller didn’t flinch.
“The route I took would be the same route I would take again,” he said.
Miller, of course, had more leverage as one of the best players in the NFL at the time and a franchise tag as insurance. While few undrafted free agents have accomplished as much as Harris, it’s not quite as clear where he’ll end up by following Miller’s lead.