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Can/should Broncos bring back Shelby Harris?

Cody Roark joined the Broncos Country Tonight crew to talk about his interview with Harris and whether No. 96 is a Bronco again next season.

Denver Broncos v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Cody Roark joined Ryan Edwards and Benjamin Allbright to talk about the Broncos’ approach to re-signing some current players, particularly Shelby Harris.

Talking to Harris for his Locked On Broncos podcast, Roark learned that the defensive lineman was definitely disappointed in how last year’s free agency market didn’t bring the windfall of offers he hoped for, but he was thrilled to be back in Vic Fangio’s scheme.

“One of the reasons he chose to stay with the Broncos was that he knew Vic Fangio’s defense was one that put guys in a position to be successful,” Roark said, adding that Harris also wanted to continue playing alongside and learning from guys like Mike Purcell, Jurrell Casey and Bradley Chubb. “That made it a no-brainer for him.”

Both Roark and Allbright believe that with the Broncos cutting Jurrell Casey, the need for an experienced lineman like Harris is even greater, but whether the Broncos will be able to pay him is a question yet again.

Allbright noted the unfortunate market situation Harris has been in these past two offseason. Last year, the market was saturated with DL talent as well as a deep draft class, making him less of a priority to sign somewhere. This offseason that’s not the case, but with the lower cap number, teams aren’t willing to spend as much.

“Unfortunately for Shelby, he may have to take less money than he’d like,” Allbright said. “I think the Broncos will be in it to a point. They’d like to bring him back, but there’s a number they won’t go past, and they are worried the market will be near that number.”

Allbright thinks the market value for Harris will be around $7-8 million/year over a couple-year contract, and Roark agrees the Broncos could be in for that amount.

Roark also pointed out that while some of Harris’ stats are not jumping off the page (other than his batted-down passes), his presence has allowed others along the line to flourish.

“When you look at the opportunities he’s created for guys like Malik Reid, Jeremiah Attaochu, Bradley Chubb...he makes everyone around him better on the defensive interior,” Roark added. “You get another year of him and Mike Purcell healthy, and that’s going to be an exciting defense to watch...He’s just a great interior presence.”

But of all the offseason deals the Broncos are looking to do, Roark still put the re-signing of Justin Simmons and a deal with Von Miller as the top two priorities.

Allbright asked Roark to rank which offseason move would be “the most disappointing” if it did not happen.

“Oh, I think the Justin Simmons deal. We’ve seen Simmons really evolve in Vic Fangio’s system,” he said, adding that Simmons was the team’s leading tackler, so he’s been more than just a free safety. “He plays in the box, plays dirty on the inside, he comes up against running backs and bats down passes at the line of scrimmage. He’s the kind of guy you want to build your franchise around, on the field and off.”


So where would you put the four “Mount Rushmore offseason moves” (as Allbright called them) in rank order?

Re-signing Justin Simmons?

Working out a deal to keep Von Miller?

Bringing Shelby Harris back?

Adding a veteran quarterback to compete with Drew Lock for next season?