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According to 9 News’ Mike Klis, the Broncos “are not expected” to exercise Ray’s $ 9.2 million club option for the 2019 season.
Citing a source, Klis added the decision “would be less about drafting [Bradley] Chubb and more about disappointing production.”
If Ray’s option isn’t exercised by Thursday’s deadline, he will be on track to become an unrestricted free agent next March.
A 2015 first-round pick, Ray looked solid during his first two seasons in Denver.
After logging four sacks as a rookie throughout the Broncos’ triumphant run to Super Bowl 50, the Missouri product racked up eight sacks and a pair of fumble recoveries in 2016.
However, Ray was limited to a single sack over eight games last season because of a left wrist injury that he suffered before the start of the season.
Still, the 24-year-old sounded optimistic last month when he was asked about having his option picked up.
“I love being a Bronco,” Ray said, according to The Athletic’s Nicki Jhabvala. “John [Elway’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 it 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.”
If the Broncos ultimately decline to pick up Ray’s option, he’ll have all the motivation he needs to try and post big numbers that he can parlay into a nice payday next spring.