Report: Broncos Undecided on Picking Up Shane Ray's 5th-Year Contract Option

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 1, 2018

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 10:  Outside linebacker Shane Ray #56 of the Denver Broncos jokes around with the New York Jets bench in the fourth quarter of a game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on December 10, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

There is apparently no guarantee the Denver Broncos pick up the fifth-year option on linebacker Shane Ray after a disappointing third season in the NFL.

James Palmer of NFL Network reported the news, noting the recent selection of Bradley Chubb in the 2018 NFL draft could play a factor. However, Ray could still earn the option worth $9.232 million, per Spotrac.

The 2015 first-round pick was a key reserve as a rookie in the team's 2015 run to the Super Bowl, while he was an even bigger part of the defensive success in 2016. He finished the year with eight sacks, plus a fumble returned for a touchdown.

Unfortunately, 2017 was a lost cause, as he missed eight games because of a wrist injury. He started seven of the eight games he played but only managed one sack on the year with 16 total tackles.

Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk previously reported general manager John Elway was unsure about picking up the player's option, but the linebacker remained upbeat.

"I'm not concerned," Ray said, per Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic. "I love being a Bronco. John's got a lot of things to deal with, and whether or not he picks up my option, it doesn't say anything about what I'm going to be for this team, my role for this team. I'm just excited. I wouldn't look into too much. I think that it's going to get picked up. I think that I'm going to be here, and I'm just looking forward to this opportunity."

Of course, this was all before the Broncos used the No. 5 overall pick to select the best pass-rusher in the class in Chubb. With Shaquil Barrett and DeMarcus Walker also battling for playing time opposite Von Miller, Ray could end up being expendable.

Even if the team doesn't pick up the option, however, the 24-year-old should remain on the roster for 2018, and he will have an opportunity to prove himself to the other 31 teams before he hits free agency.

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