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Lynch still pondering retirement even as he prepares for ninth Pro Bowl

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Denver Broncos safety John Lynch said Monday he's still pondering retirement even as he prepares for his ninth trip to the Pro Bowl.

"The answer is that I haven't made that decision yet. I'm not being evasive or anything. It's just being true with you that I haven't come to that time," Lynch said.

Earlier this month, Lynch was named to his ninth Pro Bowl, replacing the injured Bob Sanders of Indianapolis. Lynch has made it to Hawaii in each of his four seasons in Denver following a standout career in Tampa Bay, where he won a Super Bowl ring. The nine Pro Bowls rank second among safeties in NFL history, trailing only Ken Houston's 10 nominations from 1970-79 with the Houston Oilers and Washington Redskins.

The 15-year veteran said he knows he can still play to his high standard. However, he isn't sure he's willing to put in the work required to stay at that level or whether it's time to focus on his family -- he and his wife, Linda, have four children -- and maybe a broadcasting career.

"I'm comfortable that I still can" play at a Pro Bowl level, Lynch said. "Now, it's just, 'Can I put that energy into it that I need to play at that level?'"

The answer has been elusive.

Lynch said he doesn't have a timetable, but he doesn't want to drag it out too long.

"Obviously, I'm not going to let this thing go on forever," Lynch said. "I'm a person who kind of craves certainty in my life anyway. When I know, you guys will know. I'm not trying to hold this from anyone. But I've just been consulting with my family.

"You don't know how much energy it takes to come back and do this thing, and if I come back and do it, I want to do it right."

If Lynch returns in 2008, he'll play for his third defensive coordinator in three years. Secondary coach Bob Slowik was promoted to defensive boss after coach Mike Shanahan fired Jim Bates.

"I'm really excited. He's worked very hard in this league for a long time, and I think it's going to be a good fit," Lynch said. "He knows what Mike wants. I think he's going to do a nice job."

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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