The Broncos have yet to publicly express whether they intend to pick up the fifth-year option on linebacker Shane Ray‘s rookie deal. But Ray, the No. 23 overall pick of the 2015 draft, remains optimistic that it’ll get picked up.
“I’m not concerned,” Ray said, per Vicki Jhabvala of The Athletic. “I love being a Bronco. [John Elway’s] got a lot of things to deal with, and whether or not he picks up my option, it doesn’t say anything about what I’m going to be for this team, my role for this team. I’m just excited. I wouldn’t look into too much. I think that it’s going to get picked up. I think that I’m going to be here, and I’m just looking forward to this opportunity.”
Ray, 24, appeared in just eight games last season due to a wrist injury. He started seven of those games and ended with a sack to go with 10 tackles. The Missouri product had 12 sacks through his first two seasons in the league.
The Broncos have until May 3 to decide whether they’ll pick up the option on Ray’s contract, which would guarantee him $9.2 million. Ray is currently projected to start at strong-side outside linebacker, opposite Von Miller.
The team’s depth at outside linebacker includes Shaquil Barrett, Deiontrez Mount, Stansly Maponga and Marcus Rush. Barrett made a career-high nine starts last season in place of Ray and appeared in all 16 games for a third straight season.