Browns, DT Shelby Harris Agree To Deal

A free agent visit between Shelby Harris and the Browns has yielded an agreement. The veteran defensive tackle is headed to Cleveland on a deal worth up to $5.25MM, reports Jordan Schultz of the Score (Twitter links).

Harris had been on the open market since being released by the Seahawks in March, but it took plenty of time for him to receive tangible interest. He explored the possibility of returning to the Broncos by visiting Denver, but that did not produce a deal. The 31-year-old then met with the Browns, though at that point he was not believed to be acting with much urgency to make a firm commitment.

Now, Harris has a new home for the fourth time in his career. The former seventh-rounder was included in the package Denver sent to Seattle in the Russell Wilson trade last offseason. He remained a full-time starter in the Emerald City, though his production dropped compared to his days with the Broncos. Harris recorded two sacks and eight QB pressures in 2022, after posting six and 18, respectively, the year prior.

Harris should still be able to carve out at least a rotational role in Cleveland, a team which has set about re-tooling its defensive front this offseason. Their most signficant endeavor in that regard was the deal given to Dalvin Tomlinson (four-years, $57MM). The latter will be an anchor of the Browns’ defensive interior for the foreseeable future, and 2020 third-rounder Jordan Elliott graduated to a starting role in 2022. Perrion Winfrey was waived last month, though, leaving a vacancy at the DT spot.

Cleveland invested a third-round pick in this year’s draft to add further depth on the D-line by selecting Siaki IkaHarris, who has 98 appearances and 64 starts to his name, will no doubt be counted on more than the Baylor product in 2023. As is the case with the Seahawks, the Browns are aiming to take a needed step forward with their defensive front compared to last year. Harris should aid in their ability to progress under new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz.

A return to the Seahawks was thought to be on the table for much of the offseason in Harris’ case. As Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times tweets, however, the signing of Mario Edwards (which in turn came after the addition of Dre’Mont Jones) likely took a Harris deal off the table. Seattle will move forward with its new DT contingent, while Harris will look to put together a strong season in Cleveland ahead of another trip to free agency.

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