Shane Ray’s bumpy career with the Denver Broncos could be coming to a close.
The Broncos have opted to not pick up Ray’s fifth year option, which will make him a free agent after the 2018 season. The decision was first reported by The Athletic’s Nicki Jhabvala.
The Broncos will not exercise Shane Ray’s fifth-year option, per source.
— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) May 2, 2018
Ray is about to enter his fourth season in Denver, but the Broncos drafted his replacement in Bradley Chubb last week. The team took Chubb, regarded as the top pass rusher in the 2018 class, with the No. 5 overall pick.
So far, Ray’s career has been marred by injuries and inconsistency. After a promising sophomore campaign that saw him make eight sacks and recover two fumbles in 2016, Ray played in only 8 games a season ago, recording just one sack and 10 tackles.
Still, the former first round pick should have a chance to land on his feet. He’s show the ability to rush the passer when healthy, which is a rare and valuable trait in the NFL. But for Denver, already armed with Super Bowl MVP Von Miller and Chubb, it didn’t make sense to retain Ray for 2019.
According to Zach Stevens of BSNDenver.com, the Broncos will save about $8 million with this move.
Shane Ray will become an unrestricted free agent after this season with the Broncos declining to pick up his fifth-year option for 2019.
He has a base salary of $1.678M in 2019. His fifth-year option would have paid him $9.232M.
— Zac Stevens (@ZacStevensBSN) May 2, 2018
As a junior at Missouri in 2014, Ray recorded 14.5 sacks and 22.5 tackles for loss.
The Broncos took him with the 23rd overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Ray would have likely been a top 15 pick if not for a marijuana charge just before the draft.