Welcome in to another edition of ‘Where are they now?’ in which we look back at some past Denver Broncos who left a lasting impact on the franchise but perhaps are not as widely remembered by fans as Ring-of-Honor type legends
In this edition, we’ll check in on former defensive lineman Trevor Pryce, who spent time with the Broncos from 1997-2005.
Pryce found his way to the Broncos after spending one successful season at Clemson in 1996 after transferring from Michigan. At an impressive 6-5, 290 lbs., the team would pick up this fierce defensive frontman with the 28th pick of the first round of the 1997 NFL Draft. He would soon prove his team front office right in their assessment of him.
From 1997 through 2005, he would be named to four straight Pro Bowls (1999 - 2002) and once as a First-Team All-Pro (1999). He played a valuable role in contributing to the team’s Super Bowl efforts in 1997 and 1998, but his Broncos career didn’t truly take off until after the team’s championship runs.
His breakout came in 1999 when, in 15 games, he recorded 46 tackles and a career-high 13 sacks, earning him First-Team All-Pro status and Pro Bowl honors. He would return to the Pro Bowl three straight seasons and be named Second-Team All-Pro in 2001. He would also finish fourth in Defensive Player of the Year voting in 2003 when he finished with 44 tackles and 8.5 sacks.
The beginning of the end of his successful Broncos run came in 2004, when he unfortunately discovered he needed surgery for a herniated disk in his back. This held him to just two games played that year. He did return the following season, producing a productive year, but not quite as productive as years prior.
He would sign with the Baltimore Ravens the following season where he had a booming resurgence, recording 13 sacks and 46 tackles and finishing fifth in Defensive Player of the Year voting.
His production and health would dip after that season, though, and after he was released by Baltimore in 2010, he played one season with the Jets before retiring.
His playing days will be remembered fondly by Broncos Country, and he already received one tangible honor by being named to the 50th Anniversary Team despite playing for the Ravens at the time.
He finished his Broncos career with 325 tackles and 64 sacks in 121 games played
What has Trevor Pryce been up to?
Pryce took a bit of a unique path following his football playing days.
In 2013, he authored a young adult novel called An Army of Frogs. That’s right, the former fierce defensive lineman who struck fear into the hearts of offenses is now developing young adult entertainment in the form of amphibians. Why frogs? He spoke about it in 2013 to USA Today.
“I didn’t like the look of them,” he told USA Today Sports when discussing frogs, or more specifically, bullfrogs. I always thought as a kid that they were filled with pus. If I was to ever run over one (in his hometown in Central Florida, where they are plentiful) it would splat like a balloon and I just could not get that image out of my head. Plus, they gave you warts. I thought that was the most disgusting thing ever. Neither of those things are true, I don’t think, but it made for an interesting childhood because I’m scared of nothing else. I’m not scared of animals. I’m not scared of death. I’m not scared of violence. I do not like bullfrogs.”
That fear is what led him to come up with an exciting story which was successful enough to produce two sequels. The Amazon description (where the first book can be downloaded free for the Kindle) reads as such:
For years, the frogs of the Amphibilands have lived in safety—protected by an elite group of poisonous frogs named the Kulipari and by the dreamcasting spell of the turtle king that cloaks their lands in mystery. Now the spell is threatened by the Spider Queen, a talented spellcaster, and Lord Marmoo, leader of the scorpions. With the Kulipari off training in secret, the Amphibilands have never been so vulnerable. Enter Darel, a young frog who dreams of joining the Kulipari, despite his utter lack of poison and limited fighting skills. With the help of a motley crew of friends, Darel has the chance to become the warrior of his dreams.Illustrated in full color by acclaimed comics artist Sanford Greene, this sleek, fun series combines cool animals, thrilling action, and a bit of natural science.
The books were never actually supposed to come to be, however, as he initially wanted to make it into a movie.
“The movie idea was a lot heavier and a lot darker than this,” Pryce said. “I had pitched it as 300 but with outback animals. It was like an action-adventure movie, just animated.” Picture that at your own discretion.
His decision to focus on animation partly came from his kids, who controlled the TV in his house. Most of their programming came from the likes of Nickelodeon and other animated programming, so it’s what he was familiar with, and he wrote about what he knew.
While he didn’t quite get his story to the big screen, it was popular enough to spawn two Netflix series, Kulipari, which currently has 24 episodes, and a spin off series called Kulipari: Dream Walker, which has 10 episodes and stars Star Wars legend Mark Hamill.
His current status is that of leading his own company, Outlook Company, an animation studio that’s currently located in East Baltimore, but he is looking to expand. An against the grain post-football career as it may be, it’s great to see the former Broncos great remain successful and have loads of fun while doing it.