Shelby Harris

Seahawks DT Dre’Mont Jones Addresses End Of Broncos Tenure

Seattle made one of the most impactful additions of the offseason along the defensive line when they signed Dre’Mont Jones in free agency. That pact marked the end of his time with the Broncos, the only team he had previously played for in the NFL.

During his four-year tenure in the Mile High City, Jones established himself as a valued member of the team’s strong defensive units. From 2020 on, he was a highly consistent factor in their interior pass-rush, notching 6.5, 5.5 and 6.5 sacks over that span. That, coupled with his age (26), made a new contract for him a priority on Denver’s part heading into the offseason.

However, the former third-rounder ended up signing a three-year, $51MM deal with Seattle after it became clear Denver was headed in a different direction. The Broncos saw Jones’ asking price as being too high, which led to the end of extension talks and his change of scenery. He spoke on the matter recently, indicating Seattle was more willing than Denver to make a sizeable financial commitment.

“I mean, they should have just traded me from the jump,” Jones said in reference to the Broncos. “I was included in the [Russell Wilson] trade. Denver said no. And then, Denver kind of… I don’t want to say that word – but Denver didn’t pay me my proper respects” (h/t’s Kevin Patra).

The Broncos did indeed prefer to keep Jones out of the package they sent to Seattle for Wilson, instead including veteran Shelby Harris as part of their compensation. Since they weren’t able to agree on a new deal with Jones, however, Denver pivoted to former Cardinal Zach Allen on a three-year pact worth $47.5MM. That figure not only comes marginally short of what Jones signed for, but it has also raised eyebrows around the league.

The Athletic’s Mike Sando notes that many team executives were caught off guard by the AAV of $15.8MM Allen was able to secure on his Broncos pact (subscription required). The 25-year-old posted notable sack totals in only the past two seasons, but is regarded as being strong against the run as well. Still, Denver’s investment in him carries some risk, and will no doubt be compared to the success (or lack thereof) Seattle is able to achieve with Jones now in the middle of their defensive front.

Seahawks Open To Bringing Back Shelby Harris

The Seahawks released Shelby Harris earlier this month as part of a defensive line purge that also saw the team part ways with Al Woods and Quinton Jefferson. However, the ‘Hawks remain open to a reunion with Harris, as Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times writes.

Harris, 31, was part of the return in last offseason’s blockbuster trade that sent quarterback Russell Wilson from Seattle to Denver. Prior to the deal, Harris worked as a Broncos regular for five seasons, and while he saw a similar snap rate in 2022 as he did during most of his time in Denver, his surface-level stats took a bit of a dip.

Last season, Harris registered just two sacks — his lowest total since 2018 — and six quarterback hits. That said, Pro Football Focus still viewed the former seventh-round pick as a top interior D-lineman. PFF graded Harris 17th overall among D-tackles in 2022, so it stands to reason that the Seahawks would want him back (albeit at a much lower price than the $9MM he was due to earn this year).

But if a reunion does materialize, Harris may see a reduced role. Since his release, the Seahawks splurged on a big-ticket deal for Dre’Mont Jones (who, coincidentally, the team wanted when negotiating the Wilson trade with the Broncos last year, as Condotta tweets). They also brought back defensive tackle Jarran Reed, whom GM John Schneider says eschewed more lucrative deals elsewhere to return to Seattle after spending 2021 with the Chiefs and 2022 with the Packers (Twitter link via Condotta).

The ‘Hawks still have a need at nose tackle, and while Harris would not fill that role, there is not much DL depth behind Jones and Reed. As such, a new contract could be in the cards if player and team can find some financial common ground.

Seahawks, DT Shelby Harris To Part Ways

A year after being one of the assets the Seahawks acquired in the Russell Wilson trade, Shelby Harris is on track to become a cap casualty. The Seahawks are moving on from the veteran defensive lineman, Mike Garafolo of tweets.

The team is trying to find a trade partner for Harris, per Garafolo, but thus far has not located one. Absent a trade, Harris will be released. The longtime Broncos starter moved into a starting D-tackle role in Seattle last season.

Harris, 31, worked as a Denver regular for five seasons. The 2020 campaign prompted the Broncos to give him a three-year, $27MM deal to stay; the team did so despite hiring a new GM (George Paton) weeks prior to that transaction. Paton valued the John Elway-era find, but the Seahawks sought him in the Wilson trade.

Last season, Harris registered just two sacks — his lowest total since 2018 — and six quarterback hits. That said, Pro Football Focus still viewed the former seventh-round pick as a top interior D-lineman. PFF graded Harris 17th overall among D-tackles in 2022. It should be expected Harris would land another gig fairly soon. Should Dre’Mont Jones leave Denver for a big-ticket free agency accord, Harris returning would make sense. He played under Vance Joseph for two seasons, emerging as a key player and one of the NFL’s top pass-deflecting performers up front.

Seattle is retooling up front. It is not known yet if the team is re-signing Poona Ford. But he is a free agent. Moving on from Harris and Ford would signal an overhaul for the Seahawks inside. Ford started 16 games last season.

Seahawks Restructure Shelby Harris’ Contract

The Seahawks re-worked the contract of one of their newest acquisitions. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the team has agreed to a restructure with defensive linemen Shelby Harris. The move creates $3.26MM in cap space. 

ESPN’s Brady Henderson details that, to create that added space, Seattle converted just over $6.5MM of Harris’ 2022 compensation into a bonus (Twitter link). As a result, his cap hit for the upcoming season is $4.78MM. The move also has an effect on the final year of his deal, however. Henderson’s colleague Field Yates tweets that $2MM (out of a base salary of $8.5MM) has also been converted to a roster bonus for 2023. That year, Harris’ cap hit is scheduled to spike to $12.2MM.

The 30-year-old played sparingly with the Raiders, who drafted him in the seventh round in 2014. He found much more success in Denver, however, becoming a full-time starter with the Broncos in 2019. Expressing his desire to finish his career in the Mile High City on multiple occasions, Harris signed a three-year, $27MM deal last March. He continued to play at a high level in 2021, totaling 49 tackles and six sacks. However, his tenure came to an end this offseason when he was included in the package Denver sent to Seattle for Russell Wilson.

As a result of this restructure, the Seahawks now rank in the top 10 in the league in terms of cap space, with just over $17MM available. Long mentioned as a potential landing spot for Baker Mayfield or, to a lesser extent, Jimmy Garoppolo, Seattle also has the matter of a D.K. Metcalf extension to attend to. The latter task may have become more complicated by the wideout’s current unexcused absence from minicamp. In any event, they have some added flexibility to work with for the remainder of the offseason.

Seahawks To Trade Russell Wilson To Broncos

9:57pm: Wilson has signed his no-trade provision and passed his physical, making the deal official on his end, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter). The other players involved in the trade still have to take their physical.

12:46pm: The Seahawks have agreed to trade Russell Wilson to the Broncos, as’s Tom Pelissero tweets. The deal will see multiple draft picks go to Seattle, plus quarterback Drew Lock, defensive lineman Shelby Harris, and tight end Noah Fant (Twitter link). 

Details are still emerging, but when all is said and done, the deal will see three players (Lock, Harris, and Fant) go to Seattle along with two first-round picks, two second-round picks, and a fifth-round pick. The Broncos, meanwhile, get Wilson plus a Round 4 choice (Twitter link via Jay Glazer of FOX Sports). Even when accounting for Wilson’s talent and accomplishments, it all adds up to a solid haul for the Seahawks.

The Seahawks have been at odds with their star quarterback for quite some time. Now, after years of speculation, they’ve finally turned the page. The Broncos, meanwhile, have a Hall of Fame worthy quarterback for the first time since Peyton Manning‘s retirement.

Previously, head coach Pete Carroll said that the Seahawks had “no intention” of moving Wilson. Ultimately, however, Wilson wanted a new start. The Seahawks also get an opportunity at something of a clean slate. Wilson’s $35MM-per-year contract wasn’t necessarily outsized, but it was a blocker on their books. Now, Carroll & Co. can reshape the team as they see fit — perhaps with a QB with less gripes about the rest of the roster.

At this time of year, there’s conversations about everybody, and it’s commonplace for us to have conversations with teams about all of the players, particularly marquee players,” Carroll said recently. “That’s not changed. It’s been the same every year. It’s the same…We have no intention of making any move there. But the conversations, [GM] John [Schneider] has to field those, he always has. But nothing specific.”

Wilson has had his eyes on the Broncos for a while, dating back to his four-team list of acceptable trade destinations. Still, in interviews, the 33-year-old tried to slow the rumor mill down.

“I’ve been fortunate to be able to play ten amazing years in Seattle,” Wilson said roughly three weeks ago. “My hope and goal is to be back there and keep winning there. That’s the vision, that’s the goal. That’s always been it, never been anything different.”

Wilson has been connected to a number of teams this year, including the newly-crowned Washington Commanders. They were said to have sent a “strong offer,” though it’s unclear if they approached the Broncos’ mega-package. Wilson, of course, holds a no-trade clause, so it’s possible that the Broncos had the second-best offer en route to the winning bid.

The Broncos also had the cap room to accommodate the deal, unlike some of the other teams tied to Wilson. Heading into today, they had $41.999M in cap space. So, even before factoring in Lock and Harris, Denver had the room necessary to take on the deal.

The Broncos may agree to give Wilson a brand-new deal as a part of the trade. So far, we’ve yet to hear any word on that front. For now, they’ve got the superstar under contract for two more non-guaranteed years.

Denver Emerging As Premier QB Destination

We wrote a bit earlier today on the Broncos being among multiple AFC teams who “have trade compensation lined up with the Packers,” in relation to quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Well, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Denver has emerged as a prime location for many of the league’s veteran quarterbacks looking for a potential change of scenery.

The Broncos recently hired former Packers’ offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett to replace Vic Fangio, who failed to accomplish a winning season in three years with the Broncos. The former Green Bay staffer represents an obvious and strong connection for Rodgers. Should Rodgers decide to move on from the Packers, having a play-caller that he’s familiar with could add some allure to the Mile High City. Another intriguing aspect that could bring a star quarterback to Denver is the addition of former Vikings’ offensive coordinator Klint Kubiak as passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach. Kubiak just helped Kirk Cousins turn in one of his best seasons in Minnesota.

Hackett and company inherit an impressive roster posed to perform. The defense is comprised of veterans like outside linebacker Bradley Chubb, safety Justin Simmons, defensive end Shelby Harris, and cornerback Ronald Darby. There are a number of free agents that Denver would like to bring back like cornerbacks Bryce Callahan & Kyle Fuller, defensive back Kareem Jackson, inside linebacker Josey Jewell, and outside linebacker Malik Reed. Even if they fail to bring some of those names back, the Broncos saw impressive seasons last year for youngsters like cornerback Patrick Surtain II, linebacker Baron Browning, defensive end Dre’Mont Jones, and safety Caden Sterns. The list of defensive players above may not overwhelm you with stardom, but, together, the Broncos defense ranked third in the league in points allowed and eighth in the league in yards allowed.

In addition to a brand new offense and stacked defense, Denver boasts a nice array of young offensive weapons. An impressive receiving corps is led by veteran 26-year-old Courtland Sutton, young star Jerry Jeudy, and Tim Patrick, who has broken out a bit over the past two seasons. The Broncos also have two talented, young receiving tight ends in Noah Fant and Albert Okwuegbunam. Any quarterback looking to join in on the fun would potentially have the benefit of a two-headed rushing attack that was 79 yards short of a combined 2,000-yard rushing season. Running back Javonte Williams enjoyed a healthy dose of carries in his rookie season, and there is mutual interest in bringing back Melvin Gordon.

Rodgers is obviously a name to keep an eye on as the decision on his future in Green Bay looms on the horizon. He has said that he will let the Packers know of his intentions before the franchise tag deadline so they can figure out how to deal with free agent wide receiver Davante Adams. In addition to Rodgers, though, keep an eye out for Denver to make moves on other quarterbacks searching for greener pastures. Russell Wilson has long been rumored to be interested in moving on from Seattle, and Deshaun Watson is still searching for a new home.

Whether Rodgers, Wilson, Watson, or some other under-the-radar name, look for the Broncos to make a move for a star quarterback. If they are able to find the right fit, the move could bring them into contention for what could easily turn into the toughest division in football.

NFL Contract Details: Bolts, Griffin, Broncos

With the tampering period in full swing, here are some of the latest contract details to emerge:

  • Chargers C Corey Linsley: Five years, $62.5MM. $26MM guaranteed, $13MM signing bonus. Linsley is due $26MM through 2022, Albert Breer of tweets. Linsley’s 2021 base salary ($4MM) is fully guaranteed. His 2022 base salary ($9MM) is guaranteed for injury at signing; it becomes fully guaranteed if he is on the Bolts’ roster on Day 2 of the 2022 league year, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets.
  • Jaguars CB Shaquill Griffin: Three years, $40MM. $23.5MM fully guaranteed, Albert Breer of tweets. $12MM signing bonus, base salaries of $1MM, $11.5MM and $11.5MM. Griffin is due a $1MM roster bonus in 2023, Field Yates of tweets.
  • Lions DE Romeo Okwara: Three years, $39MM. $14MM signing bonus, $20MM fully guaranteed. Another $5MM will be guaranteed by next March, per’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter).
  • Broncos DL Shelby Harris: Three years, $27MM. $9MM signing bonus. Harris’ $1MM 2021 base salary and $5.5MM of his $7.5MM 2022 base are guaranteed, Wilson tweets.
  • Patriots DB Jalen Mills: Four years, $24MM. $2.5MM signing bonus, $3MM base salary in 2021, $4.5MM in ’22. Williams will have $3.5MM of his 2022 base salary fully guaranteed, Breer tweets.
  • Panthers OL Cameron Erving: Two years, $10MM. This contract includes base salaries of $990K and $2.01MM, with Wilson tweeting a March 2022 roster bonus of $2.5MM is guaranteed.
  • 49ers CB Jason Verrett: One year, $5.5MM. $2MM signing bonus, $2.5MM base salary, $1MM in per-game roster bonuses. Another $1MM is available via incentives, Yates tweets.

Broncos To Re-Sign DT Shelby Harris

For the second straight offseason, the Broncos reached an agreement to keep Shelby Harris in Denver. New GM George Paton will bring back one of John Elway‘s finds, per Ian Rapoport of (on Twitter).

A four-year contributor in Denver, Harris reached an agreement to re-sign much earlier than he did last year. The Broncos managed to land him on a one-year deal several days into free agency. Hours into this year’s legal tampering period, they moved to keep the interior defender off the market.

Harris’ new Denver deal will be worth $27MM over three years, Rapoport tweets. A nice payday for a former seventh-round pick who spent a year out of football before trekking to Colorado in 2017. Harris will receive $15MM guaranteed, Mike Garafolo of tweets. Set to turn 30 this year, Harris has expressed interest in staying in Denver for a while. He will return for a third season in Vic Fangio‘s defense.

A part-time starter under Vance Joseph, Harris has blossomed under Fangio. The 3-4 defensive end starter has become one of the NFL’s best pass deflectors, having swatted 16 passes over the past two seasons. He registered six sacks in 2019 but was limited in 2020, having contracted COVID-19. Harris did return down the stretch for the Broncos, who have now kept their top two free agents off the market. Denver was the first team to use its franchise tag this year, cuffing Justin Simmons for a second straight offseason.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/31/20

Here are the minor moves from 2020’s final day:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: C Alex Mack

Baltimore Ravens

Cincinnati Bengals

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

Philadelphia Eagles

Shelby Harris Wants To Stay With Broncos

One of the Broncos’ better acquisitions in recent years, Shelby Harris is winding down his fourth season with the team. The veteran defensive tackle would prefer to extend this run.

Harris unexpectedly re-signed with the Broncos on a one-year deal this offseason, doing so after a market did not form for the talented interior defender. While the former seventh-round pick will again seek the first notable payday of his career, he would prefer that offer came from the Broncos.

Obviously it would mean the world,” Harris said of another (presumably more lucrative) deal to stay with the Broncos, via the team’s website. “My family loves Denver; I love Denver, and Denver’s done nothing but do right by me since I’ve been here. I love it here, but at the end of the day I understand it’s a business and so you got to be ready for everything. … I’ve had two of my kids here; this is home for them. So obviously Denver is a special place for me.”

The Broncos brought back Harris on a one-year, $3.25MM contract. Despite missing four games due to a positive COVID-19 test, the 29-year-old defender has notched a career-high 11 quarterback hits this season. One of the NFL’s top bat-down artists, Harris has added seven pass deflections to give him 16 over the past two seasons.

While the Broncos hoped to have Harris and Jurrell Casey team up on this year’s defensive line, the latter suffered a season-ending injury in September. The Broncos are projected to have nearly $20MM in 2021 cap space and can create $11MM in additional funds by releasing the longtime Titans standout. Of course, the Broncos’ 2021 payroll does not yet include a Justin Simmons deal. Considering Harris’ 2020 market, he would appear to command a midlevel deal in a year when the cap is expected to decline. Losing both Harris and Casey would make the defensive front an obvious need area for the Broncos.