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Denver Broncos decline to pick up Shane Ray's option

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Loaded with pass rushers, the Broncos are preparing for life beyond Shane Ray.

The team is not expected to pick up the outside linebacker's fifth-year option, a source told NFL Network's James Palmer.

A 2015 first-round draft pick, Ray finds himself buried in a crowded position group after Denver used the fifth-overall pick in last week's draft to nab celebrated pass-rushing prospect Bradley Chubb.

With All-Pro Von Miller and the promising Shaq Barrett also in-house, the Broncos are willing to let Ray walk after this season. It's worth noting that Barrett is also set to become an unrestricted free agent, but all four of Denver's top sack-masters are on board for at least one more year.

Ray piled up eight sacks in 2016, but struggled through a wrist injury last season to notch just one takedown over eight appearances. Brought aboard as the heir to DeMarcus Ware, Ray is now learning how fast the scenery changes at the NFL level.

Turning 25 this month, Ray is guaranteed another shot elsewhere if and when he officially hits free agency next offseason. As for the Broncos, it's Miller and Chubb -- deep into the future.

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