Final years on contract short of $1M

Updated: February 5, 2004, 11:46 AM ET
Associated Press

DENVER -- Running back Clinton Portis said he might sit out training camp unless the Denver Broncos renegotiate his contract, which is scheduled to pay him a total of $835,000 over the next two years.

Clinton Portis

"I don't want it to come off as if it's 'I think I'm bigger than the team,' because I don't," Portis told The Denver Post for a story that appears in Thursday's editions.

"But at the same time, come on, man. There are players on special teams making more money than me. How long am I going to stay content with that?"

Broncos general manager Ted Sundquist declined comment.

Portis has two years left on a four-year contract that paid him a $1.29 million signing bonus. He is scheduled to get $380,000 next season and $455,000 the season after, well below what the league's top players make.

There are players on special teams making more money than me. How long am I going to stay content with that?
Clinton Portis

Portis did not say how much he wants. He said the Broncos rejected his proposal, and the team's counterproposals don't meet his demands.

Portis ran for a career-high 1,591 yards and an NFL best 5.5 yards per carry last season, despite missing three games with sternum, ankle and knee injuries.

He closed out the year with six consecutive 100-yard games.

"If I don't feel like going to camp, if I don't feel like the situation is right for me, I won't be there," Portis said in Honolulu, where he's preparing for his first Pro Bowl.

"If I do, then I will. If I decide that things aren't going right and I don't feel like the Broncos' organization is being true to me, then that's a hard decision I'll have to make," he said.

The Broncos are already almost $5 million over the salary cap for the coming season and still want to re-sign Pro Bowl middle linebacker Al Wilson, unrestricted free-agent linebacker Ian Gold, defensive end Bertrand Berry and fullback Reuben Droughns.

Wilson said Wednesday he will test the free-agent market when it begins March 3.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press