Broncos DE Shelby Harris reflects on up-and-down journey
Fourteen seconds into his news conference Friday morning to recognize his three-year contract with the Broncos, defensive end Shelby Harris was caught up in the gravity of the moment and his journey.
A seventh-round draft pick. … Waived six times by three teams. … Not a full-time starter until he was 28. … A disappointing foray into free agency last March. … But now a $27 million contract with the Broncos.
“From where I came from, this is huge for us,” Harris said, pausing multiple times during an opening statement. “I just want to say thank you and I appreciate it. The work doesn’t stop. This is a big moment for all my kids.”
Watching from the side at the Pat Bowlen Fieldhouse were Harris’ wife and kids ages 14, five, two and three months. They all get to stay in the Denver area after Harris agreed to a new deal Monday.
Harris is projected to start at end with nose tackle Mike Purcell and end Dre’Mont Jones in the Broncos’ base defense and also provide value as an interior pass rusher. He has 15 1/2 sacks, 23 pass break-ups and 154 tackles in 60 games for the Broncos.
Re-signing Harris was a priority for new general manager George Paton.
“When I was with the (Minnesota) Vikings and we watched tape of the Broncos, No. 96 stood out,” Paton said of Harris. “He’s physical in the run game, he sets the tone up front, he’s strong, he’s heavy-handed, he’s a disruptive pass (rusher) and as everyone knows, he gets his hands on a lot of passes.”
Last offseason, Harris, following a career-high six sacks and nine pass break-ups, was poised to leave the Broncos for a rich offer elsewhere. It never materialized, Harris switched agents and re-signed with the Broncos for one year.
“I felt like I had a good year (2019), but obviously, not good enough (to have a robust market),” Harris said. “I had to go out and put the work in. I wasn’t happy about how free agency went last year so I went and kept on working. Here’s the biggest part about it — I’m just happy to be here. This is home and (the Broncos) gave me my first chance.”
Harris was originally a seventh-round draft pick by the Raiders in 2014 (practice squad and one game played). He played seven games for the Raiders in ’15, but was waived and signed with the New York Jets. In ’16, he did not appear in a game for the Jets or Dallas. The Broncos signed Harris in January ‘17.
Harris has played 1,984 defensive snaps for the Broncos. Last year, he was limited to 11 games (441 snaps), missing four games with COVID-19 and the finale with a knee injury. According to The Denver Post’s game charting, Harris had 13 quarterback disruptions (2 1/ 2 sacks) and 5 1/2 run “stuffs.”
“The thing that really sticks out with Shelby is the perseverance he’s shown throughout his career,” Paton said. “He’s been with four different teams, he’s been cut six different times and now, to be here as one of the best defensive linemen in the league, is truly special.”
McManus re-structures contract. Amidst the news of safety Justin Simmons’ new contract Friday morning, kicker Brandon McManus announced on Twitter he had converted his roster bonus into a signing bonus.
According to Over The Cap, McManus’ four-year contract (which starts this season) included a $2.925 million roster bonus in 2021. By converting that into a signing bonus, the Broncos can spread that total over four years ($731,250 per season), thus creating $2.193 million in immediate cap space.
Source: Read Full Article