According to Brandon Kristzal, the Denver Broncos have re-signed defensive lineman Shelby Harris to a one-year deal worth up $3.25 million dollars. A ridiculously cheap deal for a player who was assumed to be in line for a big payday this offseason. The Athletic’s Nicki Jhabvala confirmed this report.
Per an NFL Source: Broncos Free Agent Defensive Lineman Shelby Harris is set to come back to Denver on a 1-yr deal that’s guaranteed $2 Million with a max value of $3.25. Last year he posted a career high 6 sacks and led the NFL in passes knocked down by D-Linemen. @KOAColorado— Brandon Krisztal (@BKDenverSports) March 28, 2020
After some shenanigans about whether or not this deal was actually done or not, it has been actually finalized per reports.
Entering free agency, many assumed that Shelby Harris would be leaving the Broncos and receiving a large payday by some team(Colts were strongly rumored) which would leave a big hole in the teams defensive front seven. The first wave of free agency came and went and Harris’s name never came up among the many signings made around the league. The second wave started and still all was silent in regards to Shelby Harris. Well, after multiple agent changes by Harris, he notified the Broncos that he was interested in returning to the team. Now, the Broncos add another impact defender to their front seven on defense and are paying pennies for his services.
He will only be getting 2 (or 2.5 depending the report) million guaranteed and the max value of the deal is only $3.25 million. This is a big bargain for the Broncos and even a pay cut for Harris who earned more guaranteed last season.
Harris has played the past three seasons with the Broncos and has turned into one of their best defensive players during his time with the team. In 2019, he totaled 6 sacks and 9 pass deflections during his first season in Vic Fangio’s defense. Now he will partner with recently acquired Jurrell Casey to give the Broncos two very good defensive ends to go with their two very good pass rushers.
He will turn 29 years old in August and could be hoping to use this prove it deal to hopefully get himself the big free agent deal he is seeking next offseason.
This deal however will permanently shut the door on longtime Broncos defensive end Derek Wolfe re-signing with the team. The Broncos have added Jurrell Casey and Joel Heath the past week as well as re-signing Harris to add to their defensive end group. There’s no room for Wolfe, especially with Dre’Mont Jones likely earning playing time in 2020 as well.
This is a solid addition to the Broncos defense and an unexpected one at that. I assumed Harris was the least likely Broncos free agent to return, but obviously I was wrong. His market was not there and while that was bad news for him, it is good news for the Broncos and us.
Welcome back Shelby Harris. Play 2020 with a giant chip on your shoulder and earn that big pay day in 2021.