Broncos' DL Shelby Harris is Garnering Major Interest Around NFL, Could Command North of $12M
The Denver Broncos are facing an exodus. As exciting as it is to know that the Broncos have $61 million in cap space and a dozen draft picks to attack the offseason, the wet blanket is the sheer number of veteran starters the team has poised to hit unrestricted free agency.
Among those free agents is defensive lineman Shelby Harris. Harris produced six sacks as a starter on Vic Fangio's D-line last year, while being among the league's leaders in batted passes (nine).
According to a recent report from Broncos insider Benjamin Allbright, that production has landed Harris squarely on the radar of the Indianapolis Colts.
The Broncos are between a rock and a hard place with Harris, not only because of the likes of Derek Wolfe and Adam Gotsis also hitting free agency, but because Harris' value has skyrocketed. Harris might cost more to re-sign than the Broncos are willing to pay.
According to Spotrac, Harris' market value is $11.7 million per year. As good as Harris has been at times for the Broncos, is he really worth that kind of money?
"I want nothing more than to be back," Harris told KOA's Big Al and Jo Jo. "But at the end of the day, I realize it's a business—I'm 28. At the end of the day, I hate to say it, it is about the money. I hope the Broncos can come with it. I hope the Broncos can make a market-value offer. I would love to stay here. I'm not 24-25 where you're probably going to get a third contract."
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Don't get me wrong, Harris has a special knack for making a critical play when the chips are down in the clutch but he's far to inconsistent as both a run defender and pass rusher to command $11M/year. And yet, some team will be willing to pay him that money, and it could be the Colts.
The Broncos are more likely to let the 29-year-old Harris walk and focus their efforts on getting Wolfe back in the fold. Wolfe was a consistent dominator last year, taking to Fangio's scheme like a duck to water.
The only catch? Wolfe has an unfortunate penchant for ending up on injured reserve.
We'll get our answers soon enough. The NFL free agency period opens up mid-March.