By Michael Spencer

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) — The Broncos are bringing back Shelby Harris. On Monday, the defensive lineman signed with the Denver Broncos to a 3-year contract worth $27 million dollars.

Over the past two season, Harris has played in, and started 27 game for Denver.

“Shelby sets the tone on our defensive line,” General Manager George Paton said in a statement. “As a disruptive pass rusher and physical run defender, he’s hard to handle up front. We’re excited to have Shelby back with the Broncos.”

DENVER, CO – NOVEMBER 03: Nose tackle Shelby Harris #96 of the Denver Broncos looks on before a game against the Cleveland Browns at Empower Field at Mile High on November 3, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Browns 24-19. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

Harris has played each of the last four seasons in Denver. In 2020 he recorded 2.5 sacks, 32 tackles and 11 quarterback hits.

Harris was an unrestricted free agent, but decided to remain in Denver.

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Additional Information from the Broncos:

Harris has spent the last four seasons with the Broncos, appearing in 59 games and starting 33 contests. In 2020, Harris posted 2.5 sacks, 32 tackles, 11 quarterback hits, four tackles for loss, seven passes defensed and a forced fumble in 11 games. Harris missed four games due to COVID-related protocols and did not play in Week 17 due to injury.

He previously posted career highs in 2019 as he started all 16 games and recorded 49 tackles, eight tackles for loss, six sacks and nine passes defensed.

Harris’ 16 passes defensed over the past two seasons rank first in the NFL among defensive linemen, and he is second in the same category since 2017.

DENVER, CO – NOVEMBER 1: Bradley Chubb (55) of the Denver Broncos sacks Justin Herbert (10) of the Los Angeles Chargers as Shelby Harris (96) adds a little extra heat during the second half of Denver’s 31-30 win on Sunday, November 1, 2020. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

His defining play as a Bronco likely came in 2018, when he picked off a pass in the end zone against the Steelers to seal a Denver victory. Harris then brought a game ball to the hospital to greet his newborn baby.

Harris also blocked a late Chargers field-goal attempt in 2017 and batted down a last-second two-point conversion attempt against the Raiders in 2019 to seal two other Denver wins.

The 2014 seventh-round pick initially joined the Broncos in 2017 after signing a Reserve/Future contract. He previously signed a one-year deal to remain with the Broncos in 2020.

Harris is the first of the team’s unrestricted free agents to re-sign with the Broncos this offseason. Denver previously placed the franchise tag on safety Justin Simmons as a procedural measure to allow more time to work out a long-term deal.

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Harris should maintain a starting role on a defensive line that could feature Harris, Mike Purcell and Dre’Mont Jones as its starters.

Michael Spencer