Defensive end Trevor Pryce is no longer with the Denver Broncos and tackle Gerard Warren can become a free agent Thursday, so the team filled a need Tuesday by retaining defensive end Courtney Brown. Brown signed a renegotiated contract that runs through 2009. Brown had a large option bonus due this month and his base salary increased from $540,000 to $1.4 million this season, so the Broncos wanted to rework his contract. Brown had a solid season in 2005 after spending five disappointing seasons in Cleveland. Brown missed Denver’s first regular-season game as he recovered from a dislocated elbow suffered in training camp, and was held out of Denver’s final regular-season game because of soreness in a knee. Brown had two sacks last season. Brown, Pryce, Warren and tackle Michael Myers were Denver’s starting defensive line last season. Myers is under contract. “I couldn’t be more pleased that we were able to reach an agreement with Courtney,” general manager Ted Sundquist said in a statement. “Courtney came to our team last season and helped solidify a defensive front that clearly became a strength of our football team.” As owners mulled the latest proposal by the player’s union Tuesday, the Broncos were trying to re-sign potential free agents Warren and running back Ron Dayne before free agency starts at 10:01 p.m. Wednesday. Dayne’s agent, Lenford Rowe, said he exchanged proposals with Sundquist Tuesday afternoon. Rowe said he expected a deal to get done soon. “We are close,” Rowe said. Running back Mike Anderson was released last week, as was Pryce and tight end Jeb Putzier, which means Dayne will have a chance to be Denver’s starting tailback. CONTACT THE WRITER: 476-4891 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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