ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — After checking what the market had to offer, defensive end Shelby Harris has agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the Denver Broncos.
The deal is for a guaranteed $2.5 million with the potential for $725,000 of additional incentives, a source confirmed to ESPN. As the 2019 season drew to a close, Harris said he had hoped to find a multiyear deal in free agency, but that didn’t materialize.
Harris, who was third on team with six sacks, finished the season with career bests in sacks, tackles (49) and passes defensed (nine). He was also one of three defensive linemen who started games last season — Derek Wolfe and Adam Gotsis were the others — who were unrestricted free agents.
Wolfe and Gotsis remain unsigned.
Harris flourished in Vic Fangio’s defense and had discussions with Fangio this week about what his role would be moving forward. His signing is the second move the Broncos have made on the defensive front after they traded for defensive tackle Jurrell Casey last week.
At the scouting combine last month, Broncos president of football operations/general manager John Elway said Harris was one of the players the team would allow to hit the open market, but Elway had also left open the possibility of bringing Harris back.
“Ultimately, it’s up to the player and what they want to do,” Elway said. “We’ll see where they fit in the plan. Obviously, you always want guys back like that, but you never know how it’s going to happen.”
In 2019, Harris had signed a one-year, $3.095 million deal to return to the team. After he had been waived six times in his first three years in the league, Harris found his defensive niche with the Broncos.
Former coach Vance Joseph said Harris had been close to being released at one point, but went on to play in 48 games over the past three seasons in Denver, with 22 starts.
Before he landed with the Broncos in 2017, when he was signed to a futures contract in January of that year, Harris had spent time with the Raiders, Jets and Cowboys.
Harris, who turns 29 in August, has 136 tackles and 14 sacks in his career.
Terms of his new deal with the Broncos were first reported by The Athletic.