Pryce takes $2 million cut to stay in Denver

Trevor Pryce's desire to stay with the Broncos convinced Mike Shanahan to take him off the trade market and keep him with Denver's revamped but talented defensive line.

Trevor Pryce Pryce

Pryce accepted a paycut of around $2 million to stay with the team; he had been scheduled to make $7.4 million, $6.5 million in base salary and $900,000 in bonuses. For Pryce, who was told his $9.16 million cap number was too high and he had to be moved, his patience in handling the situation kept him in a Broncos uniform.

Pryce will now team up with a defensive line filled with former No. 1 draft choices: Gerard Warren, Courtney Brown, Ebenezer Ekuban and Luther Elllis. The line has undergone massive change with the trades for Warren and Ekuban and the signing of Brown. At one point, Shanahan wanted to switch to a 3-4.

Coming off a season plagued by back problems, Pryce was told at the beginning of the offseason that he was going to be traded. Pryce didn't protest and didn't put in any demands on his part. Shanahan had difficulty shopping Pryce's $7.4 million salary even though he has been a four-time Pro Bowler and is considered one of the best defensive ends in football.

Pryce's agent, Peter Schaffer, started to lay the groundwork for Pryce's return when he negotiated a contract to re-sign guard Ben Hamilton. Shaffer stayed in touch with Shanahan and this week started work on a deal for him to stay.

Pryce, 30, is a 6-5, 295-pound dominating lineman who can play end or tackle. He was a first-round pick of the Broncos in 1997 out of Clemson.

John Clayton is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com