His anticipated free-agent market having failed to materialize, Shelby Harris’ path back to the Broncos last week started with a phone call from coach Vic Fangio.
“He reached out and asked me if I wanted to come back, we talked about what he sees in me as a player and that made me excited to come back,” Harris said in a phone interview last week.
A few days later, Harris agreed to a one-year contract.
“It showed respect that (Fangio) would even call and talk to me in the first place,” he said. “I really appreciated it and it definitely helped my decision.”
Harris set career highs in tackles (49), sacks (six) and pass break-ups (nine, which led all NFL defensive linemen). He played 646 of 1,081 snaps and added 9 1/2 run “stuffs” and 16 total pass-rush “disruptions.”
Harris felt that production was going to allow him to cash in as a free agent. He said he had a couple of multi-year offers from other teams, but the financial terms weren’t to his liking. He switched agents, hiring Ryan Williams (whom he interviewed after the season before hiring Drew Rosenhaus).
“I’ve bet on myself my whole career so what’s one more year?” Harris said of signing a one-year contract. “I know nothing is guaranteed and you have to go out each week and be the best you can. It will definitely push me.
“I felt I had a good season last year and I’m trying to make it a great one this year.”
Harris is a part of a defensive line group that now includes five-time Pro Bowler Jurrell Casey (acquired via trade from Tennessee) and returnees Mike Purcell, DeMarcus Walker and Dre’Mont Jones.