Pryce is hungry to return
Pryce planning to finish with bang
By Bill Williamson
Denver Post Staff Writer
"I know I have another five years or so in me, but I do see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I don't want to have any regrets. I don't want to leave anything on the field." - Trevor Pryce, Broncos defensive end
Lightning in a bottle.
That's how Trevor Pryce, who says he is completely recovered from a back injury that kept him out almost all last season, describes the next phase of his NFL career. While Pryce says there is no question he will regain his superstar form, the lame duck defensive end wonders where he will get the chance to return to stardom as the Broncos continue to try to trade the four-time Pro Bowl player.
"The bottle is about to open up, and you better watch out, because it's going to be something else," Pryce said Thursday. "No matter if it's for the Denver Broncos or the Highlands Ranch Mustangs, I'm going to go off."
Pryce, who will turn 30 on Aug. 3, said his experience sitting out last season helped make him realize how much he loves football - and how much he wants to protect his legacy as he nears the final stages of his career.
"I know I have another five years or so in me, but I do see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I don't want to have any regrets," Pryce said. "I don't want to leave anything on the field. I want to look back on my career and see a tape of my 12th, 13th year and say, 'I was just as good as I was in my fifth year.' That's going to happen."
Pryce said he has spent the offseason working as diligently as ever preparing for his comeback. He said he has not been in contact with any Broncos personnel other than strength and conditioning coach Rich Tuten and that he has received the team's offseason workout program schedule.
The Broncos begin offseason workouts April 4. Pryce said he would attend the workouts at Dove Valley if that's what the team wants. The Broncos are trying to deal Pryce, who was informed of their plans nearly two months ago, to create salary cap room.
Denver wants a draft pick in return for Pryce and would likely be open to trading its No. 25 overall pick and Pryce to move up significantly in the first round, as it did last year in a trade with Cincinnati that included cornerback Deltha O'Neal. Dallas could land Pryce if it doesn't trade for New Orleans defensive end Darren Howard.
Coach Mike Shanahan said at the NFL owners meetings in Hawaii this week that Pryce could return. That would likely have to come with a restructuring of his contract, and that possibility hasn't been broached seriously.
Pryce said he believes Shanahan knows how much he is looking forward to playing in 2005.
"I really don't care about a trade," he said. "(If) I'm traded, I'll have no hard feelings at all. I just know I'll be back and have a huge year, wherever it is.
"The (injured) back isn't even an issue anymore or worth talking about. I will even be stronger this year than last year because I've been working out so much. People are going to see me this year and say, 'Holy cow!'
"There's no doubt I'll be a Pro Bowl player again. That's a given."
Pryce said he would like to "win another Super Bowl, wherever it may be."
Cleveland defensive end Courtney Brown continues to weigh his options, which include signing with the Broncos. Brown was expected to announce his decision Thursday but continues to mull offers from the Broncos, Browns, Washington Redskins, Jacksonville Jaguars and Seattle Seahawks.