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  1. #1
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    Lynch takes pay cut to remain in Denver

    Lynch remains a Bronco
    Nine-time Pro Bowler has an overnight change of heart and takes a pay cut to stay.
    By Mike Klis
    The Denver Post
    Article Last Updated: 03/01/2008 09:21:12 AM MST

    Had Pat Bowlen not gone out for a well-timed late dinner Thursday night, John Lynch would have been finished as a Bronco safety.

    "I had gone as far as typing up a statement saying goodbye to everyone," Lynch said. "I had made a decision that I was going to move on. I had actually called Mr. Bowlen to say thank you for everything the last four years."

    Bowlen didn't answer. He was out to dinner. When the Broncos' owner later returned the call, Lynch had collapsed from the disappointing and emotionally draining negotiations and was asleep by the 9 o'clock hour.

    "I slept right through my phone ringing," Lynch said. "Had I answered the phone, I would have told him, 'Thanks for the four years here, but I'm going to free agency.' "

    Given an accidental chance to sleep on his decision, Lynch awoke feeling stressed. Moving on didn't seem right. Personal feelings stirred into a few more personal conversations Friday morning and afternoon with Bowlen and coach Mike Shanahan.

    By 6 p.m. Friday, Lynch swallowed the insult of a pay cut in exchange for a chance to play a fifth, and mostly likely final, season with the Broncos.

    The one-year agreement is for significantly less than the $3.12 million Lynch was going to make from his initial contract. Considering the enormously lucrative deals less-distinguished safeties were getting from the free agent market, the Broncos got Lynch at a bargain.

    "I could probably go make more money elsewhere in the free agent market," Lynch said. "And I had really gone to bed excited about that.

    "And then I woke up thinking, "What am I doing?" I've got four kids who are happy here. I've found a home here and I didn't want to be one of those guys going from team to team. I felt I had earned what I had coming to me but sometimes you have to step back and look at the big picture. And the big picture to me was: I had to find a way to make this work."

    Lynch had good reasons for leaving. He had made nine Pro Bowl appearances, including four in his four seasons with the Broncos. He was supposed to take a cut from $3.12 million while unheralded safeties named Gibril Wilson and Madieu Williams were each getting six-year deals for $39 million and $33 million, respectively, from the free-agent market?

    "Oh, to be 10 years younger," said Lynch, 36. "With all due respect, if these guys are making this much money, what could I have done in my prime? I'm actually happy to see it because it looks like the safety position is finally getting its due. It's been lagging behind, and I think people are starting to realize the importance of the position."

    There were two phases to Lynch's offseason. The first was to contemplate retirement. Tugging at him was a desire to spend more time with his family. Before playing his 15th NFL season in 2007, Lynch and his wife Linda expanded their family with the birth of their fourth child, Leah Rose.

    Then the season didn't go well, as the Broncos finished 7-9 while Lynch suffered a scary stinger injury in the area of a surgically repaired neck that had nearly finished his career four years earlier. He had received standing broadcast offers from television networks.

    It wasn't until a telephone conversation with Hall of Fame safety Ronnie Lott that Lynch began leaning toward a return to the field.

    Lott's message: A player only has one career. Once the decision is made to stop playing, that's it. Playing football is finished for life.

    "He said, 'I can hear it your in voice,' " Lynch said. " 'You want to play. My advice would be, if you've still got that, you've to go.' "

    A fun week at the Pro Bowl confirmed Lynch's decision to return. But then came the second phase of his offseason: Dealing with a Bronco team in the midst of a budget crunch.

    The Broncos did increase their offer slightly Friday, but ultimately the agreement was reached because, regardless of cost, Lynch wanted to stay. Will this be Lynch's final season?

    "I've learned you can't put a timetable on things," Lynch said. "It's likely my last year but I'm not going to say that definitively."

    What Lynch fans do know definitely is that it's a good thing Bowlen didn't order takeout Thursday night.

  2. #2
    Chris58's Avatar
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    Re: Lynch takes pay cut to remain in Denver

    I wonder if Ike has any second thoughts? Would "sleeping on it" a few days resulted in him staying in a Ram uni?

  3. #3
    Ramer Guest

    Re: Lynch takes pay cut to remain in Denver

    I wish he would have gave it a few day, but we will never know.

  4. #4
    jkramsfan Guest

    Re: Lynch takes pay cut to remain in Denver

    I think his mind was already made up,the Rams release me and I am gone for good and as much as I love Bruce I can't blame him.
    Last edited by jkramsfan; -03-05-2008 at 03:41 PM.

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