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Bailey’s agent blames release on playing hurt

Champ+Bailey+Kansas+City+Chiefs+v+Denver+Broncos+uyyazpdyKs5l Getty Images

A full decade after the Broncos traded running back Clinton Portis for cornerback Champ Bailey, the Broncos have released him.  Bailey’s agent thinks that, if Bailey hadn’t been such a team player in 2013, he’d still be on the team.

“Champ is appreciative of the 10 years he had there,” agent Jack Reale told Mike Klis of the Denver Post.  “It’s unfortunate frankly that he tried to play hurt this year.  Because most people with that injury would wind up on IR.  But he felt this was a year they were going to go to the Super Bowl, and he was dadgum if he was going to watch that game from the press box or sidelines.”  [Editor's note:  I appreciate very much anyone who uses the phrase "dadgum."  It makes me feel less old.]

Reale is referring to the foot injury, ultimately revealed to be a Lisfranc sprain, that Bailey suffered during training camp.  He appeared in only five regular-season games, with a mere three starts.  Bailey also started two postseason games.

“[H]e tried to get it done,” Reale said.  “And unfortunately everybody wants to judge him based on playing hurt.  Which is how it goes in the league.  Rarely, if ever do you get an ‘attaboy’ if you don’t play as well hurt as you do when your healthy.”

Bailey actually played very well in the postseason, especially in the AFC title game.  Thrust back into the starting lineup after Chris Harris tore an ACL against the Chargers, Bailey held his opponents to four total receiving yards.

Bailey would have been cut even if he’d gone to injured reserve.  Ultimately, the release happened because the Broncos don’t believe Bailey will be worth a $9 million investment come September 2014, when he’ll be 36 years old.  It’s unlikely any other team will feel the same way.

Because Bailey was in the final year of his contract, the move clears $9 million in cap space — putting the Broncos in play for a possible effort to pry cornerback Darrelle Revis away from the Buccaneers, which needs to happen in the next week or not at all.

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24 Responses to “Bailey’s agent blames release on playing hurt”
  1. captainwisdom8888 says: Mar 6, 2014 3:23 PM

    Elway: Champ…we love ya, but we’ll be dad gum if we’re paying you 9 mil this season.

  2. scw1993 says: Mar 6, 2014 3:25 PM

    Clears $9 mil in cap space so manning has more to put in his pocket, and choke away another sb. Hope this guy goes to a real contender.

  3. jamaltimore says: Mar 6, 2014 3:25 PM

    Was he hurt in the Playoff loss the Ravens two years ago? he was torched by torrey smith and was a total liability in that game. Had a great career but his time is up.

  4. nfl4dummies says: Mar 6, 2014 3:33 PM

    His agent thinks he’d still be on the team if he wasn’t such a team-first guy?

    I’d say his agent is a dadgum idiot.

    36yrs old. One good foot. $9 million dollars. Thats why.

  5. dg0122 says: Mar 6, 2014 3:36 PM

    Bobby Bowden approves this dadgum message

  6. seaeagle707 says: Mar 6, 2014 3:37 PM

    Many congrats for a great career at Denver. Champ was the first guy that picked Malcolm Smith to be the SB MVP.

  7. shayeezy says: Mar 6, 2014 3:38 PM

    all i remember about his postseason play was him getting burned by doug baldwin and being a solid three steps behind.

  8. chinahand11 says: Mar 6, 2014 3:46 PM

    Time to hang it up Champ, dadgum it.

  9. weepingjebus says: Mar 6, 2014 3:50 PM

    If he hadn’t been dinged up, he could have held that 43-8 to a much more manageable 40-8.

  10. thestrategyexpert says: Mar 6, 2014 3:51 PM

    Bad bookkeeping strikes again. The NFL is a serial story that could also be titled Negotiators on Elm Street. And it’s definitely not a comedy, keep your kids away from this one or they will decimate large corporations in the future.

  11. ErikW65 says: Mar 6, 2014 4:00 PM

    His agent said, “Champ there’s something you should know,

    not everybody has a place to go.”

    And home is just a place to hang your gun,

    and dream up things to do in Denver when you’re done.

  12. si1m says: Mar 6, 2014 4:16 PM

    “Bailey’s agent blames release on playing in mid 30s” – Fixed

  13. Shinnbone says: Mar 6, 2014 4:16 PM

    “Bailey’s agent blames release on playing hurt”

    Really?

    How bout the fact that Champ is just done. My god did you see him trying to cover Harvin in the SB? Just embarrassing.
    Always has been overrated.

  14. JSpicoli says: Mar 6, 2014 4:24 PM

    Yeah, that and being 114 years old and overrated from the start.

  15. themackstrong says: Mar 6, 2014 4:35 PM

    Champ Bailey was the man for 10 years plus as the top CB in football. He is equally respected on and off the football field because of the way he carries himself.

    Denver fans made excuses for their bad defense because Champ wasn’t there. When he would be there – everyone but Champ made excuses about him not being healthy but never admit his age may be catching up with him. That has been clear for 2 or 3 years already if you know what you’re watching.

  16. somethingsmellsrotten says: Mar 6, 2014 4:36 PM

    Most overrated cornerback in the history of the game…doesn’t deserve a ring.

  17. toybkshr says: Mar 6, 2014 4:38 PM

    He played a position that doesn’t allow for losing even a half step & he has lost more than that.
    That’s what hurts. Father Time claims another one.

  18. sarobs06 says: Mar 6, 2014 4:51 PM

    What a drag it is getting old…….

  19. JSpicoli says: Mar 6, 2014 5:37 PM

    Love seeing all the bleeding heart unrealists here.

    Go get your info from morons like Boomer. I’ll watch the games and make my own decisions.
    this dude has been mediocre at best, but somehow caught the media wind from the start.

  20. fdugrad says: Mar 6, 2014 6:06 PM

    A pro football player participating while hurt…Ridiculous. His agent needs a better excuse than this one!

  21. rayguyreturns says: Mar 6, 2014 7:21 PM

    Always a great competitor and opponent. No cheap shot plays and he’s all heart. I think his time may be up but don’t disparage the man.

  22. michaelswitzler says: Mar 6, 2014 8:53 PM

    and what have all you bums done, except hate

  23. blue18hutthutt says: Mar 7, 2014 10:38 AM

    JSpicoli says:
    Mar 6, 2014 4:24 PM
    Yeah, that and being 114 years old and overrated from the start.
    ———————————–

    Yeah one of the greatest CBs in history is overrated

    Seriously, do the world a favor and kill yourself

  24. kanemoney says: Mar 8, 2014 6:33 PM

    I hope a team picks him up at a minimal amount and moves him to safety. I think his days of man-to-man corner were over when Smith destroyed him in the playoffs in 2013, but he can still be a contributing piece to a good secondary.

    I am not sure what team will give him that chance however. The shift seems to be towards the Seahawks model of finding young talent that fits into your defensive scheme.

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