DENVER — The Broncos continue to make moves in advance of Monday's free-agent frenzy. According to sources, the Broncos are expected to place a second-round tender on defensive lineman Shelby Harris. Earlier Thursday, the Broncos re-signed longsnapper Casey Kreiter to a one-year deal.
The second-round tender will cost the Broncos $3.095 million for the 2019 season if Harris signs it, and provides Denver a second-round draft pick if Harris goes elsewhere. The tender offer reflects Denver's desire to keep the valuable veteran. The 27-year-old posted a career-high 39 tackles with 1.5 sacks and an interception last season. His lone pick at the goal line sealed the Broncos' upset victory over the Steelers on Nov. 25.
Harris blossomed in his first season in Denver in 2017. Taking to the coaching of line boss Bill Kollar, Harris found traction, netting 5.5 sacks.
By design, the Broncos originally declined to tender Kreiter. They planned to re-sign at him at a more reasonable price, and landed him on a one-year deal worth $1 million if he reaches incentives. Kreiter made the Pro Bowl last season.
Denver will not tender receiver Jordan Taylor, a fan favorite who missed last season after undergoing labrum surgery on both hips, or tight end Matt LaCosse, a good receiver, but the team is looking for an inline blocker in the draft or free agency.
The Broncos told veteran safety Darian Stewart on Wednesday that they will release him. He sought clarity in his situation, and now will become a free agent.
"I loved Denver," Stewart said. "But it was time for a change."
His departure nets the Broncos roughly $3.6 million in salary cap space. General manager John Elway typically makes bold moves early in free agency, and so Chicago strong safety Adrian Amos could be a target. The Broncos like young players Will Parks and Jamal Carter, but Amos is well-versed in new coach Vic Fangio's defense. Amos, 25, made the NFL's All-Rookie team in 2015, and was ranked as the eighth best safety last season by Pro Football Focus.