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Trevor Price to be traded


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Maybe Marv can deal with Mike and reach an agreement with Trevor for a better salary cap contract.

Pryce tagged for trade

Broncos hope four-time Pro Bowl defensive end attracts high pick

By Bill Williamson

Denver Post Staff Writer

Pryce has the highest salary cap number on the roster for next season.

Honolulu - In a somewhat surprising development, the Broncos have decided to shop four-time Pro Bowl defensive end Trevor Pryce.

According to three teams that have talked to Pryce's agent, Peter Schaffer, Pryce would be offered for draft picks.

The Broncos likely would get a high to midround pick for Pryce, who played in just two games last season because of an injury.

"We're focused on finding the best place for Trevor for 2005 and beyond. The only issue here is the uncertainty of where he will be," Schaffer said Sunday.

Schaffer said he started testing the market only after the Broncos told him of their plans. "This is not Trevor's doing. He did not ask for this. The Broncos came to us, and this is what they want to do, and I need to help find the best place for Trevor."

Besides the Broncos changing their defensive formation, Pryce has the highest salary cap number on the roster for next season: $9,166,000.

There are teams with serious interest in Pryce, and it is likely a deal could be finalized shortly after the trading season begins March 2. Pryce is expected to be healthy after back surgery. He played in the first and last regular-season games and didn't play in the Broncos' playoff loss at Indianapolis.

Denver coach Mike Shana- han was unavailable for comment Sunday. Pryce also was unavailable.

Pryce, who turns 30 in August, is entering his ninth season. He made four consecutive Pro Bowl teams, from 1999-2002. Schaffer said Pryce's health would not be an issue in a trade.

The Broncos are planning to change to a defense using three linemen and four linebackers, and Pryce is best suited for the 4-3 alignment.

Also, the Broncos are trying to pare down their salary cap so they can add players during free agency.

Currently, the team is about $2 million under the cap and is in the process of restructuring some veteran players' deals to create more room.

The money saved by trading Pryce likely would be used to keep defensive end Reggie Hayward, who led the Broncos with 10 1/2 sacks last season. Hayward could be used some at linebacker in the 3-4 alignment.

Denver also has prioritized free agents Kenoy Kennedy, a safety, and Ben Hamilton, an offensive lineman. In addition to keeping their free agents, the Broncos may add defensive line and offensive line help in free agency and the draft.

Working a trade for Pryce would help Denver stockpile high draft picks. The team doesn't have a third-round pick, punishment for salary cap violations that occurred in the late 1990s.

However, Denver is expected to be awarded a third-round compensatory pick for losing free agents Bertrand Berry (Arizona) and Ian Gold (Tampa Bay) last year. The Broncos also don't have a fifth-round pick, which they traded to Atlanta last year for defensive tackle Ellis Johnson.

This is the second straight year the Broncos are working toward trading a big-name player.

Last March, Denver traded running back Clinton Portis to Washington for cornerback Champ Bailey and a second-round pick.

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