Broncos free agent DL Shelby Harris sounding like he's gone

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DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 22: Nose tackle Shelby Harris #96 of the Denver Broncos jogs off the field against the Detroit Lions during the fourth quarter at Empower Field at Mile High on December 22, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Lions 27-17. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

Denver Broncos free agent defensive lineman Shelby Harris sure sounds like he's prepared to leave Denver in free agency if the money isn't right.

Shelby Harris has been one of the bright spots on the Denver Broncos over the last three years, which have been pretty dismal for the franchise overall.

Harris signed on with the Broncos in 2017 as a reserve/futures contract player and wound up cracking the final roster that year. He was a seventh-round draft pick of the Oakland Raiders once upon a time, and bounced around to a couple of other teams before landing with the Broncos.

Since signing with the Broncos, Harris has been mostly a part-time player but his snaps increased in 2019 and he took advantage, setting a career high with six sacks as well as 10 pass breakups. He's blocked kicks, picked off a potentially game-winning touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger, and he's won the hearts of Broncos Country.

Sadly, it really sounds like Harris' time in Denver is finished, or at least it will be finished in about a month.

Harris, speaking on the current state of contract negotiations (or lack thereof) says that the Broncos could have probably signed him for a lot less money if they had made him an offer before the end of the 2019 season.

If that comment doesn't make it sound like Harris is moving on in free agency, I don't know what else he has to say.

The Broncos very rarely bring contract offers to players during the season. Although Andy Janovich re-signed to a modest contract this past year, the only other ones that even come to mind are Chris Harris Jr. and Derek Wolfe signing their new deals in-season.

Harris is 28 and will turn 29 in August. He's been tremendous for the Broncos but this year's class of free agent defensive linemen is good enough that the Broncos perhaps don't want to pay at or even near market value for Harris if they feel there are possible upgrades available.

There could be better fits for the Fangio defense although Harris was productive, to be certain.

Next: 2020 Broncos mock draft: What if Robby Anderson signs?

Harris would be an unfortunate loss for the Broncos, but we need to see what other moves happen first.