Broncos sign DT to seven-year, $60 million deal
Updated: Wednesday April 25, 2001 9:11 PM
The deal, which came nearly a year after Pryce held out of training camp in an attempt to renegotiate his rookie contract, includes a signing bonus worth nearly $11 million.
"It really is unthinkable," said Pryce, who is entering his fifth season in Denver. One of his agents, Peter Schaffer, called it the most lucrative contract for a defensive player in NFL history.
"I wanted to play here the rest of my career," the 6-foot-5, 295-pound Pryce said. "I love the city. I love the people. This is an ideal situation for me and my family."
Pryce, who was in the final year of his five-year, $4.9 million contract, was rewarded with a revamped deal after appearing in his second straight Pro Bowl after the 2000 season.
Last summer, Pryce stayed out of training camp for 16 days, rejecting a seven-year, $31.5 million offer.
He said head coach Mike Shanahan told him, "I can do something now, but it won't be what you deserve and what you think you should have."
Pryce, Denver's first-round draft pick in 1997 out of Clemson, responded by leading the Broncos with 12 sacks and two forced fumbles and returning a fumble recovery for his first NFL touchdown. In the 1999 season, he had 13 sacks.
"I'm really going to have to pick up my game to a new level to justify what I'm being paid," he said. "I'm anxious to get going to prove that I was worth them doing this."