Report: Second-round tender stronger possibility for Chris Harris


Heading into last Thursday’s knee surgery, Broncos cornerback Chris Harris knew that his ACL was partially torn.

Dr. James Andrews turned up no further damage once the surgery was underway. Mike Klis of the Denver Post reports that there was no other ligament or cartilage damage observed during the operation, leaving Harris in about as good a position as he could be in with an ACL injury that forced him to miss the last two games of the Broncos season.

That’s good news for Harris and it could wind up being good news for the Broncos too. Harris’ chances of making a full recovery for next season are pretty good, but that’s not certain and that hurts Harris’ chances of maximizing his salary as a restricted free agent or signing a long-term deal this summer.

Klis reports that a first-round tender was expected for Harris before the knee injury in order to ward off any outside bidders for his services. That would pay him over $3 million for the 2014 season, but Klis now pegs a second-round tender as the stronger possibility as Harris recovers from knee surgery. There’s almost a $1 million difference between the two salaries, which aren’t guaranteed in the event the Broncos decide to move on, and not much chance of a bid from a rival because of the knee injury.

Restricted free agents often wind up staying away from teams for much of the offseason before signing their tenders. There’s no sign of what Harris might do, although his knee is likely to keep him out of offseason work either way.