It took Champ Bailey 15 years in the NFL to make it to his first Super Bowl as a member of the Denver Broncos in February.
If he’s going to make a return trip, it will have to come wearing a different uniform.
According to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com, the Broncos are going to release the 12-time Pro Bowl selection and seven-time All-Pro.
Bailey has played the last 10 seasons in Denver blue and orange after being traded by the Washington Redskins following the 2003 season. Bailey has been consistently once of the top cornerbacks in the game for the majority of his career until recent seasons. He appeared in just five regular season games for Denver this year while battling injuries. He recorded just 14 tackles and zero interceptions this season – the lowest totals of his career.
The release of Bailey allows Denver to get his entire salary off the books for this season. The four-year contract extension he signed in 2011 contained no signing bonus. It meant the commitment for Denver in 2014 would be just $9 million in base salary and a $1 million roster bonus that go away upon Bailey’s release. The move saves the Broncos $10 million against the cap.
Bailey immediately gets a jump-start on free agency ahead of what will be a talented cornerback group on the open market. Aqib Talib, Vontae Davis and Alterraun Verner are the headliners of the cornerbacks set to become free agents next week.