The Broncos officially announced the release of veteran CB Champ Bailey on Thursday.
Here’s a statement from John Elway.
“This was a difficult decision for our team with everything that Champ Bailey has meant to the Denver Broncos and this community over the last 10 years,” Executive Vice President of Football Operations/General Manager John Elway said. “Without question, he’s among the best cornerbacks to ever play the game and one of the finest players in the history of the Broncos. You couldn’t ask for more in a player than what Champ brought to this team. His combination of elite talent, class, leadership and competitiveness made him one of the all-time greats.
“On behalf of everyone with the Broncos, I wish Champ all the best and thank him for everything he did for this franchise. Champ will always be a Bronco. We look forward to his Ring of Fame and Pro Football Hall of Fame election in the years ahead.”
- Lindsay Jones spoke with Bailey who said that Broncos didn’t give him an opportunity to take a pay cut.
- Adam Schefter reports that Bailey has no intention of retiring and mentions that he may want to finish his career in Georgia.
“I’m good. It’s bittersweet. Now I get to go see what is out there,” Bailey told USA TODAY Sports on Wednesday evening. “I’m looking at the positive side of it.”
“I’m a corner at heart. If a situation made sense to play safety, then I would consider it,” Bailey said, per Lindsay Jones.
Bailey, 35, was entering the final year of his four-year, $43 million contract and had a $1 million roster bonus due on March 15. Bailey had a cap figure of $10 million, so the Broncos will be able to add that amount to their available cap space total.
- Denver should have close to $29 million in available cap space after this move, according to Jason Fitzgerald.
Last year, Bailey totaled 14 tackles over the course of just five games. He dealt with a number of injuries last year, and given his age and the amount of cap space they would gain by releasing him, it’s not surprising that the Broncos elected to part ways.
Denver has some extension candidates to address like WR Demaryius Thomas and TE Julius Thomas, as well as some key free agents like WR Eric Decker, and CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, so this cap space will most likely go a long way to filling out their roster.