Former Broncos’ DL ‘Cried Like A Baby’ After Trade to Seahawks

Shelby Harris

Getty Former Denver Broncos defensive tackle Shelby Harris.

There’s something touching about the honesty former Denver Broncos defensive tackle Shelby Harris displayed on a recent podcast appearance when talking about his 2022 trade to the Seattle Seahawks.

Talking with Nate Jackson on the “Dumb Jock Podcast” on May 24, Harris reflected on his emotions following his inclusion in the blockbuster trade that sent quarterback Russell Wilson and a fourth-round pick to the Broncos in exchange for Harris, two first-round picks, two second-round picks, a fifth-round pick, quarterback Drew Lock and tight end Noah Fant.

“(Denver Broncos general manager) George Paton called me,” Harris said. “I’m like bro, there’s no way. I’m thinking I’m getting traded to the purgatory like we’re about to be trash in Seattle. I just remember this one feeling, like everyone staring at me. Man, like when I say I cried like a baby … I was like man, is this going to mess up everything with my family? We have it so good here.”

Harris played one season for the Seahawks and currently plays for the Cleveland Browns, where he signed a 2-year, $9 million contract in March 2024.

Harris Goes from FCS Star to NFL Veteran

Harris started his college career at Wisconsin before transferring to Illinois State, where he was an All-Missouri Valley Conference selection in 2012.

He was selected by the Oakland Raiders in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL draft despite being dismissed from the team at Illinois State before the 2013 season for “conduct detrimental to the team” and played his first two seasons in Oakland.

Harris spent 2016 in training camp with the New York Jets and the practice squad with the Dallas Cowboys before catching on with the Broncos in 2017.

Harris played five seasons with the Broncos, including a pair of seasons with 6.0 sacks in 2019 and 2021 — he also received his biggest career payday in Denver when he signed a 3-year, $27 million contract in 2021.

Harris had a solid season with the Seahawks in 2022 with 15 starts, 44 tackles, 5 tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks. In 2023 with the Browns playing alongside NFL Defensive Player of the Year Myles Garrett, Harris had 28 tackles, 6 TFL and 1.5 sacks in 7 starts and played in all 17 games.

Broncos Traded for DT Help Following ’24 Draft

The Broncos made a move to shore up their defensive front following the 2024 NFL draft, when they traded a sixth-round pick in exchange for veteran defensive tackle John Franklin-Myers, who projects as a plug-and-play starter.

Franklin-Myers has at least 3.5 sacks in each of the last three seasons and has started all but one game for the Jets in that stretch. In Oct. 2021, Franklin-Myers signed a 4-year, $55 million contract extension with $30 million guaranteed.

“(Franklin-Myers) is a player that we have always respected,” Paton told following the trade. “He is durable. For three straight years he has not missed a game, and four straight years of 54-plus pressures. He can play all down the line of scrimmage. The one thing that sticks out on tape is the relentless motor this guy plays with. We are excited to get him. … He is going to help our defensive line.”

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