Denver Broncos star cornerback Chris Harris Jr. told The Associated Press on Tuesday night that he wants to be traded if general manager John Elway doesn’t give him a contract extension.
Elway insisted earlier Tuesday in his pre-draft news conference that he’s not angry with Harris for skipping Denver’s offseason program, unlike five years ago, when he ripped receiver Demaryius Thomas for doing the same thing during a contract stalemate.
Elway reiterated that he’ll address Harris’ contract demands after this weekend’s NFL draft but quickly added: “I said we’re going to talk about it. It doesn’t mean we’re going to do it.”
That didn’t sit well with Harris, who told The Associated Press in a text that he no longer wants to play in Denver if Elway doesn’t want to give him an extension.
“Yep, been disrespected too many times. In the media,” Harris said via text.
It’s the first time Harris has publicly discussed a desire to leave Denver should things not work out.
Harris, a perennial Pro Bowler who turns 30 in June, is due $7.8 million in 2019, the final season of a team-friendly, five-year, $42.5 million contract he signed in 2015.
Elway signed two defensive backs in free agency, Bryce Callahan (three years, $21 million) and Kareem Jackson (three years, $33 million).
Asked why he was waiting until after the draft to address Harris’ contract situation, Elway said, “I don’t have time right now. I’m busy with the draft.” And asked whether he foresees any scenario in which he’d trade Harris, Elway said, “I haven’t even thought about that, so no.”
The last remaining member of the “No Fly Zone” secondary that was the backbone of Denver’s Super Bowl 50 triumph, Harris is the only defensive back in the NFL with multiple interceptions in each of the last seven seasons.