Ever since the Denver Broncos acquired Ryan Harris, the starting right tackle has been a key cog in the offensive line, or so it seemed before indications surfaced the organization attempted to let him go at the time his durability was arguably in question.
According to multiple sources, the Broncos attempted to trade Harris in the middle of last season. The team’s talks for the four-year player involved the Oakland Raiders, the Buffalo Bills, the Washington Redskins, the Houston Texans, and the Chicago Bears.
“From what I know, of those teams, the Bears had the strongest possibility of acquiring Ryan at the time,” said the source.
During the 2010 season, Harris received inconsistent playing time after injuring his ankle in the preseason finale against the Minnesota Vikings.
The severe sprain caused him to miss the first three games of the year and was partly related to his benching against the New York Jets and the Raiders on Oct 17. and Oct. 24, respectively.
At the time former Broncos head coach, Josh McDaniels, was also trying to evaluate how rookie offensive lineman Zane Beadles would hold up in the lineup.
Sources indicate that Harris became aware of the team’s attempts to find him a new home after the 31-17 loss they suffered against the Baltimore Ravens.
Obviously no transaction transpired.
Harris remained with the team and was reinstituted into the offensive line as the starter after several combination changes that kicked off with a huge 49-29 win against the Kansas City Chiefs after the bye week, until the end of the season.
Harris started every game from Week 10 to Week 17. He has often said that when he and left tackle Ryan Clady are both healthy, they give the Broncos the best chance to solidify their line along the edges.
In 2008, he only allowed 1.5 sacks on former Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler.
However now Harris, who is at the end of his four-year rookie deal, is uncertain about his future with the Broncos but said the following about his status in a phone interview on Thursday: “I like being a Denver Bronco, but the choice is not up to me whether I stay. I’ve proven myself every year that I have been in the NFL, and I don’t have a problem doing that here or anywhere else."
Harris says he hopes to have some answers about where he is playing this upcoming season within the next couple weeks.
The Broncos front office was contacted for this story but opted not to comment.