Denver Broncos linebacker Shane Ray is coming off of wrist surgery and is back on the field, settling into the daily routines of an NFL linebacker.
After an off-season of rehab, seeing his option go untouched and deleting the outside noise from his life, Ray is ready to prove himself once more as a top talent at the linebacker position as free agency looms.
Speaking with Eric Goodman of Mile High Sports AM 1340 | FM 104.7, Ray knows football is a business and that the Broncos made a business decision concerning his fifth-year option. Surprisingly, were he in general manager John Elway‘s shoes, Ray would have made the same decision.
“No. Frankly, no,” Ray quickly responded, when asked if he would’ve picked up the option of a linebacker making the same amount of money and facing the same obstacles as he is. “I look at it like this. You use the option to see what I can do. I’m coming off of a wrist surgery. Can I come out and play, and if I do come out and play, do I offer you a new contract? Do I offer you an extension? Do I possibly franchise you? Or do I let you go to free agency? That’s the business of the game. I understand that — this is my fourth year in the league. I just look at it as the ball’s in my court.”
But while the ball is in Ray’s court, so is new competition. The Broncos spent the No. 5 overall pick for what many analysts believe is the best pass rusher in the draft class in Bradley Chubb. Ray says that Chubb’s arrival excites him and that he plans to teach him everything he knows.
“I’m excited. I was excited for them to draft Chubb. You got the best defensive player in the draft sitting there at No. 5; why wouldn’t you pick him?” Ray said. “I doesn’t matter to me if he’s coming in and playing Sam (strong-side linebacker.) I’m going to teach him everything I know, and hopefully he challenges me for the position. That’s going to make me better.”
Ray knows that anything can happen in football, so he doesn’t consider the Broncos choosing to pass on his option that big of a deal.
“This business? Everyone knows; you can get cut, you can get traded — anything can happen at any time. I blew my wrist out and they didn’t pick up my option. Do I look at it as ‘they don’t want me here anymore?’ Or is it a business decision? That’s a business decision. Do you invest 9.5 million dollars into a guy who had three wrist surgeries?”
Looking at the situation he’s faced, he now sees a future full of opportunities.
“I don’t look at it as a bad thing… My future is whatever I make it out to be. If I go out there and play how I know I can play and my teammates know I can play, my future’s going to be great — whether it’s here or anywhere else.”
Click here to listen to the full interview with Shane Ray, including what he had to say about deleting social media, his training and more, or listen to the podcast below.
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