Shelby Harris wants to stay with Broncos, get paid

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Coming off his best NFL season, Denver Broncos defensive lineman Shelby Harris is ready to cash in.

Set to hit free agency this offseason, Harris told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport on the RapSheet and Friends podcast that he would like to stay in Denver, but money will be the deciding factor.

"The one thing for me is to make sure that my kids will be taken care of," Harris said. "I would love to come back to Denver. We love Denver, we have a great nanny, and people don't realize how important that is. We have an amazing nanny who we don't want to leave but at the end of the day, I'm 28. We got one shot at this. This is not for me, this is for my kids, for my kids' kids and I want to make sure that they're OK, regardless, know what I mean? It means a little bit more to me, I want to stay in Denver but, at the end of the day, I understand that there's a chance it could not happen."

It's refreshing candor to hear Harris admit he's looking to get paid. While most players fall back on well-worn clichés, obtaining life-changing money is always the goal, especially for a former seventh-round pick who bounced around with an uncertain future early in his career.

To secure that payday, Harris signed with new agent Drew Rosenhaus.

A seventh-round pick by the Oakland Raiders in 2014, Harris played in just eight games his first two seasons, spending time on the practice squad. In the 2016 offseason, he signed with the New York Jets but was cut before the season. He joined the Dallas Cowboys' practice squad in December of that year but didn't play in a game.

Finally, in 2017, Harris found a home in Denver. Playing on a series of one-year deals, Harris has improved each of the last three seasons. In 2019, he started all 16 games for Denver, compiling six sacks and 49 tackles, both career-highs. The defensive lineman has become a batted-ball maven, generating eight bats this season, most among interior defenders, per Pro Football Focus.

Harris said he knew he had a place in the league when he blocked a game-winning field-goal attempt against the Chargers in 2017.

"My first year here. My first year in Denver, in the regular season, I blocked the kick against the Chargers to win the game," he said. "... I was like, 'Oh my god, I'm making plays on Monday Night Football.' And that's really the evolution of my career. It's been from that one game-winning play to I've had one every year since I've been in Denver. Denver's a really special place to me, it's really the jump of my career and we're [in] Year 4. It's really special and my family's so grateful for Denver, that's why we want to give them a shot. Make a market-value offer, I'm there."

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