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Football

Drew and Brittany Brees commit $5 million to help Louisiana


METAIRIE, La. — Drew Brees and his wife, Brittany, announced a $5 million commitment to the state of Louisiana in 2020 to help “our communities get through this tough time.”

The New Orleans Saints quarterback said via Twitter last week that assessing the need in New Orleans is “a daunting task” in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak because of how many people it has affected in different ways.

In Thursday’s announcement on Instagram, Brees said, “After considerable research and conversations with local organizations, we will be mobilizing our partnerships with Second Harvest Food Bank, Ochsner Health Systems, Walk-Ons, Jimmy Johns, Smalls Sliders and Waitr to prepare and deliver over 10,000 meals per day throughout Louisiana for as long as it takes to children on meal programs, seniors, and families in need. Let’s all do our part, maintain hope, and get through this together.”

Drew and Brittany Brees are owners or investors in the restaurant chains and food delivery service he mentioned in his post. They have been heavily involved in the New Orleans and Gulf South communities through their Brees Dream Foundation since Brees joined the Saints in 2006 — providing instrumental help in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

“So many people are without so much right now,” Brees said Friday on Good Morning America.. “And I think for Brittany and I, the most important thing was about fulfilling some of their most basic needs and being able to feed their families and to be able to feed those kids of health-care workers who are on the front lines right now and are having to drop their kids off at day care as they go to work to save lives. And we want them to know that their kids are taken care of. We want the seniors to know that they are taken care of.”

Last week, New Orleans Saints and Pelicans owner Gayle Benson also made a personal donation of $1 million to create the Gayle Benson Community Assistance Fund, among other endeavors.

And Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson pledged to cover the salaries of Smoothie King Center workers for 30 days while the NBA season was suspended.





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Trending News

Men’s Fashion Weeks in Europe Have Been Canceled


The spread of COVID-19 is leaving a long list of canceled and indefinitely postponed events in its wake: the NBA season, the Met Gala, and even the Tokyo Olympics have all been moved, rescheduled, or put on indefinite hiatus. Friday brought news that the men’s fashion calendar would shift, too: the men’s spring/summer 2021 fashion weeks in London, Milan, and Paris, originally scheduled for June, have been taken off the schedule.

In addition to the men’s week, the French Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, which oversees the French fashion industry, announced it is also canceling Haute Couture week, which was set for early July. In a statement, the federation said it “is actively working with its members on alternatives,” The New York Times’s Vanessa Friedman reported. The Camera Nazionale della Mode Italiana (The National Chamber of Italian Fashion) wrote in a press release about what its alternatives might look like: “We are however working on new digital formats and new ways of encounter, in order to create a new storytelling on the days originally scheduled for the Milan Men’s Fashion week: b2b and b2c platforms for the benefit of brands, luxury companies, and all the other players in the fashion industry. We are aware that great efforts will be made in order to have the new collections ready by June to start an innovative selling campaign.”

And while fashion shows have taken on spectacle status over the past few years, they remain critical for everyone involved in the industry to do their jobs. Fashion week is where both globally recognized and up-and-coming fashion brands go to meet with and sell to buyers from department stores and the cool neighborhood shop on your block. Magazine editors get on planes to discover what to put into pages months down the line. And, on a more superfluous note, but no less soothing to our now-always-frazzled mental states, it’s where Virgil Abloh and Kanye cry-hug and models stomp like malfunctioning robots and Thom Browne dresses people up as suited giraffes and hippos. Brands and fashion weeks are now scrambling to figure out how to replace at least some of what will be lost.

What form the postponed fashion weeks will take is up in the air. The menswear trade show Pitti Uomo is planning for an experience that operates primarily in the safer confines of the world wide web; MFW and PFW might do something similar, especially when it comes to finding a non- or low-contact way for buyers to see collections and put in orders. Another possible alternative might be the live streams that designers and brands have been letting consumers in on for multiple seasons now. That infrastructure may become crucial this summer.

However, finding a way to share and stream a new collection might be the least of designers’ worries. Emily Bode, who presents collections for her brand Bode at Paris Fashion Week, said Friday afternoon that “we assumed [the shows] would be canceled or postponed” for a litany of reasons. The first: that, because of its global scale, the coronavirus pandemic has made it near-impossible to even produce new clothing. “We can’t begin fall production until our factories reopen…and because we can’t start fall production, development of spring is even further behind,” she said.

Not to mention the very real fear that much of the world may still be social distancing come June. “It’s both [of those factors],” Bode said. “I think it’s hard to tell where we will be in even three weeks’ time, so June is entirely too risky.”

Seeing the cancellation or postponement of three major fashion weeks (and it feels all but guaranteed that New York will also cancel its men’s week in the summer) puts a finer point on the dire position fashion brands are in, as well as the ripple effects sure to be felt by everyone involved in the fashion universe. There is a whole global network of not just well-known brands and shops but textile makers, seamstresses, manufacturers and so on who rely on the fashion industry for their livelihoods. Now, some of the most important events for sustaining those in the community are in jeopardy.





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Music

Margo Price delays album release due to coronavirus, covers John Lennon to apologise


Margo Price has postponed the release of her third album ‘That’s How Rumors Get Started’ due to the coronavirus pandemic. Price announced the news on social media overnight, citing “circumstances [that] are beyond our control”.

The country singer-songwriter offered a cover of John Lennon‘s ‘Nobody Told Me’ to disappointed fans on Youtube. Watch it below:

Price’s statement says “realistically” the album’s new release date will be sometime in summer of this year.

“Even the record plants have halted production of vinyl. I want to be able to play this album live and tour with my band all over the world and I know that time will come,” she said.

“Until then, take care of yourselves, be good to each other and this weary planet… and watch what you say and who you trust, because we all know…”

Price said she would release some singles and make “lots of music for y’all anyway [she] possibly can” in the meantime. Earlier this week, she recorded a session for NPR’s Tiny Desk (Home) concerts from their Nashville attic with her husband Jeremy Ivey. In the background, two handmade signs that read “Stay Home” and “Save Lives” can be seen, resembling those used by Lennon and Yoko Ono‘s Bed-In For Peace. The new Lennon cover appears to be an outtake from this session.

The country singer joins dozens of musicians who have been forced to postpone the release of their albums, including Jarvis Cocker and Lady Gaga.





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Movies

The Rise of Skywalker Concept Art Reveals Space Wolves and a New Look for Lando


The Rise of Skywalker concept art has officially been teased online. We have an alternate look at Billy Dee Williams’ Lando Calrissian, which is quite different from the final design. Additionally, we have a look at the ferocious space wolves that J.J. Abrams and Chris Terrio originally wanted to include. As it turns out, there are a few similarities in the concept art to what Colin Trevorrow had planned for his version of the story.

The Art of Star Wars comes to us from Abrams Books and Lucasfilm takes readers behind-the-scenes. Phil Szostak wrote The Rise of Skywalker edition and it is comprised of interviews he conducted with J.J. Abrams, along with the cast and crew. Part of the book goes into the first time Star Wars fans got to see Lando Calrissian on the big screen since 1983. The design is quite different from the Pasaana look we saw in the movie. “I wanted to get that silhouette of an upturned brim of a cowboy hat,” visual artist, Glyn Dillon, says in the book. “From a distance, when the hat flaps up, it did kind of look like that Western silhouette.”

RELATED: How Rey Beat Kylo Ren in The Force Awakens Officially Revealed

The Rise of Skywalker concept art also shows an early version of Lando Calrissian’s Crawler vehicle, which he uses to house the Resistance when the First Order finds their location on Pasaana. The early look is similar to an old school cassette tape and it doesn’t provide as much cover as the version that ended up in the final cut of the movie. The final version seems like the wise choice when compared to this one.

Colin Trevorrow originally wanted to have Star Wars 9 end on Coruscant, but he left the project over creative differences. J.J. Abrams and Chris Terrio came on board and wrote a new screenplay from scratch. However, at one time, they were going to end up on Coruscant too. But they were going to add some crazy looking space wolves. This would have been much different than Exegol, that’s for sure. The art features Kylo Ren encountering the space wolves while looking for Jedi Temple ruins.

Another picture from The Rise of Skywalker concept art finds Kylo Ren inspecting his Imperial army, looking very much like his grandfather, Darth Vader, while Leia Organa wasn’t originally going to be the highly respected leader. As it turns out, one version of the story found that most of the galaxy was not happy to know that Darth Vader was her father. This was way before the sequel trilogy was started and it would have been interesting to see how that would have changed the trilogy. We’d watch Leia have to prove herself. The Art of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which goes on sale on March 31st, which is also the same day the Blu-ray edition comes out. You can check out the images below, thank to Yahoo.

Kevin Burwick at Movieweb



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Business World

US retail store closures to drag into April, likely longer


March 27. 

This Friday was the day that many retailers set roughly two weeks ago as the marker for how long they planned to temporarily keep their shops closed. But as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise, nothing is opening back up again.

Not even close. 

For some, this might not come as a surprise. Many of these companies likely set the initial end-of-the-month date because they knew they could at least pay workers for two-weeks time, verbally committing to do so, and they had already paid their landlords March rent.

Now, heading into April, we are in uncharted territory. Where the industry goes from here will depend on many factors, as the announcements from a number of retailers illustrate. 

Nike and Lululemon both reported quarterly earnings this week and said that as stores in the U.S. remain closed for the foreseeable future, their plans to reopen will be on a location by location basis, according to local mandates and information provided by the government. 

Lululemon CEO Calvin McDonald said Thursday that the company is preparing for its shops in the U.S. to be closed for longer than they were in China, where COVID-19 originated. 

“In part, when we do look at China, I do think it will help inform how North America and Europe will come back trading,” he told analysts. “But I do think the scenarios are slightly different, and that China had a quick, two-week closing period when the stores were then reopened.” 

“In North America and Europe, we’re planning on a longer closed period,” the CEO said, not providing other details as to why this is the case. 

Nordstrom on Wednesday said it would be extending its store closures in the U.S. and Canada through at least April 5. It is also beginning to furlough a portion of its corporate workforce, starting April 5 for six weeks. 

Tailored Brands, the parent of Men’s Warehouse and Jos. A. Bank, said Thursday that its keeping all of its stores dark until at least May 4. The company said it is, in the meantime, furloughing all U.S. store workers and a “significant portion of employees” in its distribution centers and offices. It did not quantify how many people will be impacted. 

Glasses maker Warby Parker sent a memo to customers on Thursday saying it will now be keeping its stores shut “until it is responsible to reopen.” 

“We have communicated to our team that every retail employee will be paid, at a minimum, through the first four weeks of this store closure,” co-CEOs Neil Blumenthal and Dave Gilboa said. “Our retail employees will continue to be paid and receive benefits for as long as possible without endangering the long-term viability of the business and causing the elimination of jobs in the future.” 

“Mall traffic looks set to change forever, and working from home could become sticky,” Jefferies analyst Randy Konik said in a note to clients this week. “We see real demand … issues ahead for retail, which puts many retailers at risk and could push stocks back down.” 

“The more stores are closed, the more demand is curtailed during those actual closures, but it also changes consumption patterns more and more to internet spend,” Konik added. 

The temporary closures will likely lead to more permanent ones. With the coronavirus as a new wrench in their businesses, the U.S. retail industry could see a record year for announced closures, amounting to 15,000, one analyst has predicted. 

Extended store closures will also lead to more furloughs, which is a temporary leave of employees, and then ultimately layoffs. 

Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works parent L Brands said Friday that its stores in the U.S. and Canada will remain closed beyond the end of March. It said it will pay workers through April 4. But, beginning April 5, it will be furloughing “most” store workers, in addition to those people who cannot work from home or those who are not supporting L Brands’ e-commerce operations. 

“As the situation continues to evolve rapidly, L Brands is not currently able to predict the timing of store reopenings,” the company said. 

Build-A-Bear Workshop said Friday that it will be furloughing more than 90% of its workers, effective this Sunday. Fitness chain Flywheel Sports has temporarily laid off 98% of its workforce. 

“We are still trying to get our arms around the situation,” David Silverman, a senior analyst on Fitch Group’s retail team, said in an interview. “We are trying to understand what a new base case looks like. This is an unprecedented situation.” 



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Technology

“With me” videos on YouTube are seeing huge spikes in viewership as people stay home


YouTube creators are performing everyday tasks or taking on crafts and activities that people can do at home because everyone is stuck indoors right now. The genre has boomed as a result of social distancing.

Daily views of videos with “#withme” in the title have increased by 600 percent since March 15th compared to the rest of the year, according to YouTube. Uploads of videos from creators with “at home” in the title have also increased by more than 590 percent. Of those two types of videos, titles like “cook with me,” “work out at home” and “home office” have seen their average daily views grow by 100, 200, and 130 percent respectively.

YouTube has asked people to stay home (#StayHome) and encouraged creators to participate in a new “#WithMe” campaign that started today. A number of creators have already started asking viewers to stay home and continue to socially distance themselves as the world tries to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The company has also curated a number of “with me” playlists for people looking to exercise, cook, clean, study, and more through YouTube.

“It’s just me and you guys today,” Lauren Riihimaki of the popular LaurDIY channel says in a recent video where she makes tie-dye clothes using tools she found around the house while social distancing. “It’s just me, you, a monitor and two cameras — one wide, and a close up shot so you can see what I’m doing. It really does feel like old times.”

It’s unclear if these videos are seeing a surge in revenue. The Verge asked YouTube for more information, and will update if there is a response. Hank Green, one of the longest running YouTube creators on the platform, tweeted on March 22nd that while viewership across all channels has increased about five percent over the last week, advertising revenue is down 30 percent. Other creators are worried their advertising revenue will also fall, but are looking into doing other forms of videos to try and continue entertaining fans.

“With me” videos first started appearing on YouTube in 2007, but didn’t really become a genre unto its own until 2010. People getting ready for school or work would upload their routine, including choosing outfits to wear or making breakfast. The idea was that people at home could do their own morning routine while watching their favorite creators. By 2014, “with me” videos focusing on productivity started to emerge, including “study with me” and “journal with me.” By last year, “paint with me” became the most popular creative-focused version of the format.

YouTube’s culture team has described “with me” videos as ways of making lonely tasks “opportunities for connection.” That may explain why there’s a boom in views and uploads right now. People stuck at home are looking for new ways to entertain themselves, while YouTubers who might normally film outside their homes are looking for interesting and fun ways to continue providing entertainment to subscribers.





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Tv Shows

Killing Eve Season 3 Premiere Moved Up by Two Weeks


AMC has officially moved the season 3 premiere of Killing Eve up by two weeks to Sunday, April 12. The series, which stars Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer as an MI6 agent and assassin on a constant collision course with each other, also released a new trailer, which features Jodie Comer in clown makeup just screaming at a small child. So pretty good news all around, I’d say.

“We know how adored this series is and we know how keen people are for great content right now,” Sarah Barnett, president of AMC Networks Entertainment Group and AMC Studios, said in a statement. “This season of Killing Eve digs deep psychologically, and with actors like Sandra Oh, Jodie Comer and Fiona Shaw the results are nothing short of astonishing. We literally couldn’t wait for fans to see it.”

Check out the new trailer below. For more on Killing Eve, here is the latest batch of new images.



Here is the official synopsis for Killing Eve:

The third season of the award-winning drama continues the story of two women with brutal pasts, addicted to each other but now trying desperately to live their lives without their drug of choice. For Villanelle (Jodie Comer), the assassin without a job, Eve (Sandra Oh) is dead. For Eve, the ex-MI6 operative hiding in plain sight, Villanelle will never find her. All seems fine until a shocking and personal death sets them on a collision course yet again. The journey back to each other will cost both of them friends, family, and allegiances…and perhaps a share of their souls.





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Fashion

#FreeKicks Winner + How To Enter And Win #FreeKicks • KicksOnFire.com


The winner of the adidas Yeezy 500 Stone is: mysteriouslyMa2

Congrats! We’ve gone ahead and sent you an email letting you know that you’re the winner. Please claim your prize within 10 days so that we can send over your kicks!


For next week’s drawing, we will be giving away a pair of the Air Jordan 4 What The

To enter the drawing, click here.


Did you enter this week’s KickOnFire #FreeKicks raffle? #FreeKicks is a weekly drawing hosted by KicksOnFire that gives away a fresh new pair of kicks to one of you guys (or gals), our loyal supporters. Yes, KicksonFire is hooking you guys up with a fresh pair of kicks on a weekly basis!

How does #FreeKicks work and how can you get in on the fun? Let me break it down for you.

The first thing you have to do to enter and have a chance of winning the #FreeKicks drawing is download our new and improved KicksonFire mobile app.

HOW DO I ENTER The drawing for a chance to Win some #FreeKicks ?

    1. The first thing you have to is download our KicksonFire mobile app which is now available on iOS and Android.
    1. Sign up and create an account on the KicksonFire app. This means creating a username, password and providing us with a valid email address.

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

    1. To enter the #FreeKicks drawings, you must earn coins. You’re gifted 15 coins every time you share a link of one of the upcoming sneakers listed on our release calendar (above).
    1.  The first thing you do is go to our “RELEASE CALENDAR” section of the KicksonFire app. Once there, find a shoe that you’d like to share on any of your social media platforms. One you find a shoe, tap on the shoe and on the very next page, tap on “SHARE”. Once you tap on “SHARE” it’s going to ask if you’d like to share it on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. Choose whichever social media platform you prefer and the tap on “POST”. Once you’ve successfully done these steps, you are rewarded the 15 coins and a pop-up notification will come up letting you know that you’ve done so. Remember, the more you share, the more coins you get. The more coins you get, the more drawings you’re able to enter!  Most drawings require you to have at least 100 coins. Once you’ve acquired the necessary coins, you qualify to enter the drawing.

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

    1. In order to check how many coins you’ve accumulated, all you have to do is go to “MY PROFILE” and that information will be found there. Now that you’ve got coins, it’s time to enter the #FreeKicks drawings!

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

    1. To enter the #FreeKicks drawings, go to our #FreeKicks section and choose which drawing you’d like to enter. The tabs above will read “OPEN”“ENTERED” and “PAST WINNERS”.
    1. All the sneakers under “OPEN” have a deadline to enter. Once that deadline arrives you can no longer enter that drawing. In order to enter the drawing, tap on the shoe you’d like to win and then tap on “ENTER”. Once you’ve done that, you’re all set! A winner will be chosen at random and his/her Twitter handle will be announced on the Kicks on Fire website as well as through the KicksOnFire’s IG Stories.
    1. All winners will be notified through email soon after the drawing has ended. Tip: The random winner that is selected must provide a valid email and Twitter handle when signing up through the KicksonFire app. If you don’t have either of those two, you will not be eligible to win. So please be sure you provide a valid email and Twitter handle when signing up.
  1. Will announce who the #FreeKicks winners are on a weekly basis. Additionally, we will also inform you of when the next drawing will be, what the deadline is and what shoes are up for grabs! All of this will be done both on the site and our KicksOnFire IG.

k

Available Now on Kixify & eBay





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Basketball

Thunder’s Danilo Gallinari helping fund COVID-19 test kits, protective equipment


Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari has connected with the Oklahoma City-County Health Department to provide funding for 400 coronavirus testing kits as well as personal protection equipment such as face shields, gloves, gowns and N95 masks.

The focus will be providing for high-risk individuals such as health care workers, first responders, people over 65 and those who are immunocompromised. Gallinari provided funding for items that will be used next week.

“There is a need, and so people in my position, if we can help, if I can help, it’s something that I feel that I want to do and I need to do,” Gallinari told ESPN by phone Friday. “It was a great to collaborate with the local institutions and be able to set this up. Since I’m here, I’m leading the quarantine here, this is where I am, so it feels even better to be able to help the situation here.

“Knowing what’s going on in my country and what my family has been through both in France and Italy, if I can help mitigating or at least avoiding some of the troubles we had early on in Italy, and we can do better here in OKC, and the States in general, that’s good.”

The last time Gallinari shot a basketball was March 11, when he was warming up some 15 minutes before tipoff against the Utah Jazz. The game never started, as Rudy Gobert‘s positive COVID-19 test was about to stop the entire sports world in its tracks.

Since then, Gallinari, 31, has been quarantined in Oklahoma City with his fiancée, working out once or twice a day, cooking breakfast, lunch and dinner and watching shows on Netflix.

“If I was by myself,” he said, “it would be way, way tougher.”

Gallinari’s native Italy has been one of the countries hit hardest by COVID-19, with the entire nation going on lockdown a few weeks ago. He said his family is still doing well, although they’ve been quarantined for more than a month. But some of his close friends have been affected, including a childhood best friend who lost his grandmother, and a childhood teammate who lost his mother on Thursday.

“It’s a tough situation, and I could tell you a lot of not-nice stories, in terms of people passing away or people that I know — best friends, family members — that have been affected by the virus,” he said. “The stories, they keep coming up every day. Every hour.”

After witnessing the issues his country faced with the outbreak, Gallinari was one of the first professional athletes to speak out about the need for closing arenas and stadiums in the United States to fans. He said that a day before the Thunder played the Jazz on March 11, at a time when shutting arena doors still seemed a toss-up decision.

“I wasn’t predicting anything or I wasn’t a magician, I was just telling everybody what was going on in Italy was something very possible in the States, too,” he said.

A little more than 24 hours later, Gobert tested positive and the NBA never even got to the stage of closing doors to fans; the season was immediately suspended.

“Fortunately, [NBA commissioner] Adam Silver did an amazing job closing everything right away, so we didn’t go through Phase 2. We never even played games with no fans,” Gallinari said. “After what happened, it was great for him to do what he did and stop everything. It was the right thing to do. So I’m glad. It’s been tough, but as players we’ve been quarantined since March 11, so we started the quarantine that night.”

The United States passed China on Thursday with the most cases worldwide of COVID-19. As of Friday, there had been more than 100,000 confirmed cases in the U.S., with the death toll rising above 1,500.

“I think there is still time to contain the situation,” Gallinari said. “It’s very important the citizens understand how to behave and this is not something that will go by tomorrow or is gonna go away in a few days or a week or two weeks. It’s something that’s going to take months, and so with a little help other like people like me can do all over the States in their local communities, hopefully we’ll be able to contain the numbers.”



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Football

Source — Broncos DE Shelby Harris back on 1-year deal


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — After checking what the market had to offer, defensive end Shelby Harris has agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the Denver Broncos.

The deal is for a guaranteed $2.5 million with the potential for $725,000 of additional incentives, a source confirmed to ESPN. As the 2019 season drew to a close, Harris said he had hoped to find a multi-year deal in free agency, but that deal didn’t materialize.

Harris, who was third on team with six sacks, finished the season with career-bests in sacks, tackles (49) and passes defensed (nine). He was also one of three defensive linemen who started games last season — Derek Wolfe and Adam Gotsis were the others — who were unrestricted free agents.

Wolfe and Gotsis still remain unsigned.

Harris flourished in Vic Fango’s defense and had discussions with Fangio this week about what his role would be moving forward. He is the second move the Broncos have made in the defensive front after they traded for defensive tackle Jurrell Casey last week.

At the scouting combine last month Broncos president of football operations/general manager John Elway said Harris was one of the players the team would allow to hit the open market, but Elway had also left open the possibility of bringing Harris back.

“Ultimately, it’s up to the player and what they want to do,” Elway said. “We’ll see where they fit in the plan. Obviously, you always want guys back like that, but you never know how it’s going to happen.”

In 2019, Harris had signed a one-year, $3.095 million deal last year to return to the team. After he had been waived six times in his first three years in the league, Harris found his defensive niche with the Broncos.

Former coach Vance Joseph said Harris had been close to being released at one point, but Harris went on to play in 48 games over the last three seasons in Denver with 22 starts.

Before he landed with the Broncos in 2017, when he was signed a futures contract in January of that year, Harris had spent time with the Raiders, Jets and Cowboys.

Harris, who turns 29 in August, has 136 tackles and 14 sacks in his career.

Terms of his new deal with the Broncos were first reported by The Athletic.



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