Dawkins can live with smaller salary to remain with Broncos

Brian Dawkins has been around the NFL long enough to understand the business side of the game. That knowledge makes the Denver Broncos' strong safety accepting of a likely paycut this year.

"When I signed this deal, I knew what it was," Dawkins told The Denver Post on Thursday.

Dawkins, an eight-time Pro Bowl pick, signed a five-year, $17 million deal that included $7.2 million guaranteed in February 2009. The contract included escalators that could boost its value to $27 million over five years, but the deal also could be voided after two years and $9 million.

Dawkins, who will be 38 in October, hit a contract escalator that jumped his 2011 salary from $2.24 million to $6 million. The Broncos want to take a large portion of that money back, according to The Post.

"It was basically a two-year deal," Dawkins said. "I knew after a couple years there was a balloon (mechanism) and we most likely would have to restructure. That's no big deal to me."

Dawkins was among 19 Broncos players who worked out Thursday with trainer Loren Landow at Valor Christian High School in Highlands Ranch, Colo. The Broncos' player representative, Dawkins recently returned from a players association meeting in Washington D.C. He updated the players on the labor situation after Thursday's workout.

"It's close," Dawkins said. "But there's a few things we have to work out yet."

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