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Broncos bring back Shelby Harris on one-year deal

After free agency market didn't go as hoped, Harris sought return following his career season.
Credit: AP Photo/Gary Landers
Denver Broncos defensive end Shelby Harris reacts in the first half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Upon realizing his market had drastically deflated, Shelby Harris let the Broncos know he’d rather stay than move elsewhere for a year.

Broncos general manager John Elway became interested in bringing Harris back at a team-favorable rate. The Broncos and Harris reached agreement Friday night on a 1-year, $2.5 million salary that is fully guaranteed, plus another $750,000 in per game roster bonuses ($46,875 per game) sources told 9NEWS.

The deal had to be disappointing to Harris, who after a career-best season in 2019 switched from his longtime agent to a higher profile representative in the weeks prior to free agency in hopes of striking a lucrative deal, only to change again when his market value wasn’t as hoped.

It was agent Ryan Williams who finally got the deal done for Harris.

Harris made $3.095 million last year when he posted a career-best 6.0 sacks from his defensive tackle position and also led all NFL defensive linemen with 9 pass deflections in 2019. Yet, despite that solid season, he accepted a pay cut, at least until he plays in his 13th game in 2020.

He joins a Broncos three-man defensive front that will now start Jurrell Casey and either Dre’Mont Jones or Mike Purcell.

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Derek Wolfe, an eight-year defensive line starter for the Broncos, has drawn interest from multiple teams in free agency but has yet to reach an agreement.

Harris was an oft-cut defensive lineman until he became arguably the Broncos’ biggest surprise player in 2017. He played in all 48 games the past three seasons for the Broncos but through the first 10 days of free agency, it appeared both sides had mutually agreed to part ways.

A depressed market for Harris brought the two sides back together for a fourth season.

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