Shane Ray was once one of the most promising prospects on the Broncos ‘ roster. Now, he’s expendable. On Wednesday, the Broncos declined to exercise Ray’s fifth-year option, according to Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic, which means 2018 is the final season that Ray is under contract with the team. While there’s always a chance Ray earns a new contract, 2018 might be his final year in Denver.
Ray appears to have found motivation by the recent events, tweeting the following messages after the Broncos drafted Chubb: It remains to be seen if that extra motivation will be enough for him to finally turn the corner. Regardless of what happens in 2018, someone is likely to give him another chance in 2019 given his potential and age (24). His quality of play in 2018 will now determine how much money he gets after his current contract runs its course this season.
He can take one of the best run-mauling guards (UTEP’s Will Hernandez or Georgia’s Isaiah Wynn), the prudent path. Or he could grab a versatile defensive lineman (Florida’s Tavon Bryan, Alabama’s Da’Ron Payne, UTSA’s Marcus Davenport, Boston College’s Harold Landry), a riskier route. Of course this depends on availability, and Landry and Davenport could be gone by No. 20.
I’m even willing to let them pass on a running back in the first round, thanks to the signing of LeGarrette Blount. LSU’s Derrius Guice is tempting, but several intriguing backs — Georgia’s Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, Auburn’s Kerryon Johnson, San Diego State’s Rashaad Penny, USC’s Ronald Jones – should be available in the second and third rounds, and the Lions still absolutely have to add one.
The initial draft with Matt Patricia could be especially telling, because Quinn made it clear he thought the Lions’ talent was better than the 9-7 record. I’m not sure he’s correct but he’s certainly testing his theory, perhaps thinking he made his most-important defensive upgrade at head coach, hiring a highly respected scheme guy.
He hasn’t exactly added playmakers on defense. He made modest free-agent signings — notably linebackers Devon Kennard and Christian Jones — to build depth. He didn’t overspend for anyone, which allowed Cheap Infant Jerseys him Cheap Islanders Jerseys to stomach the $17.1-million franchise tag for Ziggy Ansah.