The Denver Broncos have made plans to release 12-time Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey, according to a report from ESPN.
Even though he will no longer be playing for Denver, Bailey said he has no plans to retire. The 35-year-old cornerback, who was drafted by the Redskins in 1999, went to the Broncos in 2004. Since his career began, he has caught 52 interceptions – including a record 10 in 2006. This is the first time in his career that he will be a free agent, USA Today reports.
“I’m good. It’s bittersweet. Now I get to go see what is out there,” he said. “I’m looking at the positive side of it.”
Bailey had 34 interceptions with the Denver Broncos, and went to the Pro Bowl eight times while on their roster.
He was the longest tenured player for the Denver Broncos, and would have received $9 million for the 2014 season. He was not approached about a pay cut, but he would have received a $1 million bonus if he was resigned.
Bailey’s cut means the Denver Broncos will save $10 million toward the salary cap.
“It sucks, but at the same time, I have to move on. I can’t dwell on it. I know they’re not dwelling on it,” he said.
Bailey struggled this past season, playing only five regular-season games with the Denver Broncos, due to a Lisfranc foot injury. But he recovered and was able to make his first Super Bowl appearance. Unfortunately, the Broncos couldn’t perform well, and the team lost 43-8 against the Seattle Seahawks.
With Bailey out for most of the season, the Denver Broncos had Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie as their number one cornerback.
Bailey considers himself a “corner at heart,” but he is open to more positions on the roster.
“If a situation made sense to play safety, then I would consider it,” he said.
Some of the Denver Broncos players took to Twitter to wish Bailey the best in the future.
— Danny Trevathan (@Grindin_59) March 6, 2014
I didnt realize today would be the last day i see Champ at the facility.. My heart hurts.. Class act individual
— Gerell Robinson (@G_Rob10) March 6, 2014
A related report from The Inquisitr states that Peyton Manning will stay as quarterback for the Denver Broncos, after passing his annual neck physical. Despite the tragic loss against the Seahawks, Manning had a record-breaking season for the Broncos, completing 55 touchdown passes and throwing for more than 5,400 yards.
Photo credit: Marc Piscotty