Free Agency moves the Steelers should have made this year
Shelby Harris, NT, Denver Broncos
Contract Signed: 1-year, 3.25 million dollars
Shelby Harris has had a long road to get to the point he is at. A 7th round pick in 2014, he bounced around the league before landing with the Broncos. Even then, he was never a full-time player and his most notable stat was this pick against the Steelers.
That all changed last year when he finally started full time at NT. He recorded 49 tackles and 6 sacks from the position. Spotrac estimated his value at 12.3 million a year, yet he returned to the Broncos on a prove-it deal for only 3.25 million, a bargain in comparison. Part of the reason is he only had one year of production and he is a late bloomer, as he will be 29 next year.
As well, he is relatively undersized at the position a 6-2 and 289lbs. While light, that was a similar playing weight that Steve McLendon played at, so it isn’t like the Steelers aren’t used to having a player like that. While his lack of production before last year is a concern, it was a risk that would have been worth taking. Harris has shown a tenacity to get after the QB, something the departed Javon Hargrave was elite at.
Considering his market was so soft, the Steelers likely could have gotten Harris on a 2-year deal worth around what he signed for. Why his market was so soft I’m not sure, but he would have been a great option to replace Hargrave next year. His deal likely would have been around 2-years, 7 million dollars and say a 3 million dollar signing bonus. That would make his first-year cap hit around 2.5 million, well within the Steelers price range.