ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Maybe, a month ago, defensive end Shelby Harris did believe he would get a multiyear windfall in free agency instead of the one-year deal he signed with the Denver Broncos, but he said Friday that now is not the time to worry about such things.
“At the end of the day, we can go back and forth about, ‘Why this’ and ‘Why that.’ You know, I’m just happy to have a job,” Harris said on a conference call. “There’s millions of Americans right now who have lost their jobs. I rather just focus on the fact that I have a job, more than, you know, if ‘you want to talk about numbers.’
“… We should be happy, should be blessed, that we are able to be employed. That we have a job. It’s bigger than that right now. And I just think the important thing is that I actually have a job and I’m able to provide for my family. There are people who can’t.”
Harris appeared poised for a multiyear deal with another team after finishing the 2019 season with career-bests in tackles (49), sacks (6) and passes defensed (9). However, after not signing with a new team in the opening days of free agency, he accepted a one-year deal with the Broncos that could be worth up to $3.095 million, including incentives.
That’s slightly less than Harris made last season with the team.
“I can’t get mad about why things happened, when there are so many people in the world and in America right now who can’t … who don’t even have a job because of the coronavirus,” Harris said.
Harris, who had been waived six times in his first three years in the league before arriving to the Broncos as a “futures” player in 2017, said he hopes the NFL will be able to resume in some fashion this year.
However, he said there are bigger issues to consider.
“I think that eventually there will be,” Harris said. “I don’t know how much. … Obviously, you want to go back out there and work, but you want to be safe, you want to do your part for the community. They’re doing their part for us — the social distancing — so however long this needs to go, I’m all for it.
“And, you know, it’s about the masses, not just the individual person. … There are people putting their lives, putting their family on the line so we can somehow live. Out of respect for them, we’ve got to do what’s best for the community and not try to rush anything.”