DL Shelby Harris: Stay or go?
The easy answer to this question is that Shelby Harris should stay, but we have to talk through it a bit.
Harris is playing just over 56 percent of the Broncos’ defensive snaps this season. This doesn’t mean he isn’t an impactful player — he is — it just means that he is rotating off the field with guys like Adam Gotsis, DeMarcus Walker, and Dre’Mont Jones this season.
Harris is a starter for the Broncos and one of their most impactful defensive linemen this year statistically.
Unlike the other guys I just mentioned, Harris hasn’t been a healthy scratch at all this season and has proven he can impact the game behind the line of scrimmage as a run defender and pass rusher, but also at the line of scrimmage getting his hand up in passing lanes and even getting in to block kicks on special teams.
The issue with guys like Harris and Derek Wolfe is this — these guys are closing in on 30 years of age and you’ve got players like Jones and Walker behind them who are younger and possibly ready for more snaps.
The Broncos also have to weigh whether to invest a ton of assets on their current defensive linemen or pursue other unrestricted free agents or 2020 draft choices.
Depending on what Harris is looking for on an annual basis, this is a move the Broncos have to seriously consider, but they should also be willing to look at the alternatives in free agency, cap casualties, and the NFL Draft. They also have in-house players who could be ready to step into more action.
Until we know Harris’ annual demands on a new contract, this is a tough one.