Sources: the Broncos have added $3M in incentives to the contract of CB Chris Harris, Jr. for 2018. He can now make up to $10.5M this season. Nice boost for a standout player.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) April 18, 2018
As ESPN's Field Yates has reported this morning the Broncos have added $3 million in potential incentives to cornerback Chris Harris Jr.'s contract. The incentives are linked to playing time, team wins, possible All Pro selection and interceptions. His… https://t.co/w5JyjtfiYz
— Jeff Legwold (@Jeff_Legwold) April 18, 2018
The precise details of the incentives will be need to be learned before it can be known for sure what any salary cap implications are, but the odds are good that most to all of them will be of the Not Likely To Be Earned variety that will not count against 2018, and will only be charged to the 2019 cap if Harris achieves each incentive in question. Specifically, in 2017:
- Harris logged 87.9% of the snaps.
- The Broncos (sadly) won 5 games.
- Harris was not named to any All-Pro list.
- Harris had 2 interceptions.
In order for an incentive to be classified as Likely To Be Earned, it must be below those benchmarks. Of those four, only the snap counts have even a remote chance, and since Harris usually plays above 90%, it’s reasonable to guess that 90% is the lowest percentage that incentive could be. So I would expect all four of these to be of the NLTBE variety.
In the bigger picture, this is an example of the Broncos taking care of, as a source to Nicki Jhabvala put it, “a special circumstance for a special player”. There are many positive special things about Harris, and one of them was the hometown discount he gave the Broncos when he signed his contract extension. Underpaid even at that time, as of today he’s now tied for 21st in the NFL in pay by APY. Should all these incentives be met, he would move up to a tie for 13th–still an underpay. What is also impressive about this news is that it happened without any prior leaking to the media. Harris and his agent were able to successfully convince the Broncos to make this change without needing to exploit the tool of public opinion.
This news should be yet more confirmation that Harris is indeed a special player, one the Broncos are very fortunate to have. With relations between Harris and the Broncos very good, barring catastrophe in 2018 I would expect the two sides to work very diligently on another extension in the summer of 2019 before Harris plays out his contract year.