During the opening practices of the Denver Broncos training camp, veteran safety Brian Dawkins has been on the sidelines while rookie Quinton Carter has practiced with the first-team defense. It isn't due to injury or any sort of demotion. Rather, it is because Dawkins is renegotiating his contract.
Dawkins was set to make $6 million in 2011, but he is working with the team to reduce his amount on the salary cap. As a result, he won't be on the practice field until at least Aug. 4, the day the new league year is set to begin and new contracts go into effect. As a result, he can't practice until then.
The 37-year-old safety did appear to lose a step last season and a $6 million salary would have been too high to pay him. This early playing time should help Carter get a feel of what it will be like to play with the starters one day, possibly sooner than we all may think.