Shelby Harris was long the superstar on Denver’s defense that few were talking about.

Now, it looks like his days in the Mile High City are coming to a close as he signed with super-agent Drew Rosenhaus on Wednesday.

Rosenhaus has long been known for representing the biggest stars in sports. Most recently, he severed ties with the infamous ex-NFL star Antonio Brown. But he’s also represented players like Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson, Frank Gore, Rob Gronkowski, Tyreek Hill and Terrell Owens.

The common thread there? They’re all big-time stars commanding big-time paychecks.

For Harris, a massive payday is warranted. After being severely underutilized in Oakland, Harris landed in Denver in 2017 as a backup. But, he made one great play after another, earning his way into the starting lineup, where he prospered in 2018 and 2019.

In 2018, Harris was the seventh-highest graded interior defensive lineman in the NFL per Pro Football Focus, earning a 90.7 grade overall. He did a little bit of everything that season; he racked up three sacks and 10 QB hurries, batted down four balls at the line of scrimmage and even picked off Ben Roethlisberger in the end zone to seal a Broncos victory.

Last year, despite his grade being much lower from PFF (76.8), Harris enjoyed career-highs in sacks (6) and batted balls (8) while becoming the NFL-leader in batted balls over the last two years (12). That’s what makes him so deadly; Harris can rush the passer (22 QB hurries last season), but when he knows he can’t get there, he possesses otherworldly timing to knock passes down at the line of scrimmage.

And, on top of all that passing game prowess, Harris is a solid run-stopper, too. He racked up 66 run stops the last three years with the Broncos and forced a fumble as well.

So, without a doubt, he’s earned a bigger paycheck and now Rosenhaus, one of the best negotiators in all sports, will make sure he gets it.

Last year, Harris played for the Broncos for a mere $3 million. But, Spotrac says his “market value” is $11.7 million per year, which is likely too rich for the Broncos’ blood.

Yes, they are anywhere between $60-80 million under the cap depending on what source one uses, but Harris is among 29 free agents the Broncos have going into next year. Budding superstar and homegrown talent Justin Simmons is without a doubt the player which needs to be signed first, but Harris was likely the second-most important.

Harris was already going to be expensive, and while there was a little hope he could give Denver a hometown discount before, that has all evaporated with the signing of Rosenhaus.

In all likelihood, the Broncos will have to move on without their best interior defensive lineman and Harris will be difficult to replace, too. While the team started off slowly on the defensive end in 2019, they grew greatly over the course of the season under Vic Fangio and Harris was a big reason why.