Former first-round pick of Broncos getting a shot at surprising comeback
Teams around the NFL have begun rookie minicamps and have brought in several players to compete for a roster spot through tryouts.
The Denver Broncos have brought in several players for tryouts including XFL players Ben DiNucci, Jacques Patrick and Trent Harris. But former Broncos player not only got a tryout, but also landed a new gig.
The Denver Broncos drafted Shane Ray in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft. They traded up in order to get him. He was supposed to combine with Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware to form the league's most fierce pass-rushing combination.
That never quite happened. In fact, undrafted free agent Shaquil Barrett was quite a bit better than Ray. It led to the Broncos parting ways with Ray after his rookie contract expired. He signed with the Baltimore Ravens ahead of the 2019 season but did not make the team.
Ray was soon forgotten and that has continued, at least until now. On Saturday, the 29-year-old signed a contract with the Buffalo Bills following a tryout.
For Ray, getting back to the league has not been easy.
He has spent the past two seasons with the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL. He suffered a torn bicep this past season as the Argos went on to win the Grey Cup, but he has obviously overcome that if the Bills have given him a new deal.
An emotional Ray posted the following on his Instagram account after news of his new deal broke:
"Words can't describe the emotions I'm feeling right now. So many tears, sleepless nights, depression, everything that comes with losing the game. So many days of having nothing but hope while fighting a uphill battle. There where times that I thought maybe I should give up, but I wouldn't be me if I folded. Even in my darkest moments I believed in myself. I believed in my preparation. I believed that I would have another opportunity even if the world didn't believe."
In four seasons with the Broncos, Ray registered 94 tackles, 14 sacks, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. He will have his work cut out for him if he is going to make the final 53-man roster in Buffalo, where he will reunite with Miller, but you can bet that he's thankful for the chance.