Denver Broncos: 5 of the best moves made this offseason

Denver Broncos 2021 offseason, Justin Simmons. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)
Denver Broncos 2021 offseason, Justin Simmons. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images) /
4 of 6
Shelby Harris, Denver Broncos
Shelby Harris, Denver Broncos. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports /

3. Re-signing Shelby Harris

One of the top priorities for the Denver Broncos entering the 2021 offseason — before John Elway stepped down from being GM of the team — was re-signing defensive lineman Shelby Harris.

The priorities didn’t change once George Paton entered the building.

After the 2019 season, it seemed like a total longshot that Harris would be back with the Broncos. He was expected to command north of $10 million on the open market and it was more than a little shocking when he didn’t.

Not only did he not command over $10 million per year in 2020 free agency, but Harris re-signed with the Denver Broncos on a one-year, $3.25 million deal. It doesn’t get enough love as arguably the biggest steal in the 2020 free agency circuit, but Harris certainly has outplayed that average annual value for a few years now.

In 2020, he once again proved his worth to the team and George Paton recognized it, rewarding Harris with the biggest contract he will probably ever sign as an NFL player.

Harris re-signed in Denver for three years, $27 million in total money with $15 million in guarantees. That contract put Harris 18th in the NFL among defensive tackles in average annual salary, a fair deal for both sides entering his age 30 season.

Harris has become a key leader on the Denver Broncos regardless of offense or defense and this contract reflects the tremendous on and off-field contributions he’s made since coming aboard all the way back in 2017.