FILE – Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery is pursued by Denver Broncos defensive tackle Shelby Harris during the first half of an NFL football game in Denver, in this Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, file photo. Harris has agreed to a three-year contract with the Broncos worth $27 million. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

ENGLEWOOD | New general manager George Paton scored his first victory as John Elway’s hand-picked successor Monday when defensive end Shelby Harris agreed to a three-year, $27 million deal to stay in Denver.

Harris’ agent, Ryan Williams, announced that the seventh-year veteran was remaining with the Broncos on Twitter and the club confirmed the agreement.

Harris played on a one-year deal last year after finding no suitors in free agency despite setting personal highs with 49 tackles, six sacks and nine passes defensed in 2019. He refused to lament his bad luck, however, saying he felt fortunate to have a job during the pandemic.

Even though he missed a month with COVID-19 last season, Harris had another solid season in coach Vic Fangio’s 3-4 defense, deflecting seven passes, tied with J.J. Watt for most by a defensive lineman in 2020.

Last week Paton said re-signing Harris, the Broncos’ top unrestricted free agent, was among the first items on his to-do list and he mentioned his close relationship with Harris’ agent.

“Ryan Williams is a great agent. I am close with Ryan and have spoken with him about Shelby,” Paton said. “Shelby is a priority in free agency. We’d love to have Shelby back. He’s a really good football player and a good person. I know Vic’s spoken with him. I’ve spoken with him early. He’s a guy we definitely want back.”

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