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Broncos gush about Champ Bailey while they cut him

Champ Bailey AP

For a guy they didn’t want, the Broncos sure had a lot of nice things to say about Champ Bailey.

In the team’s official release on releasing the 12-time Pro Bowler, the Broncos showered him with praise.

“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,” Broncos boss 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.”

Of course, they didn’t want him on the roster, at least not in exchange for the $10 million worth of salary cap space it would have required.

“I consider it a privilege to have coached Champ these last three years,” Broncos coach John Fox said. “I thank him and truly appreciate everything he did for our team. There’s no doubt he played an integral role in establishing a culture of winning here.
“Aside from his natural ability, Champ set a great example with his hard work and relentless commitment to mastering his craft.”

The things the Broncos are saying about Bailey are all true. He had the kind of career that all players should aspire to.

But he’s also an example of the business of the league that almost no player can escape.

No matter how much they love you, when you get old and your play slips and you’re still getting paid like you were in your prime, you’re vulnerable.

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23 Responses to “Broncos gush about Champ Bailey while they cut him”
  1. gloryfromheaven46 says: Mar 6, 2014 2:14 PM

    A true class act. The guy deserves a ring, hopefully he’ll get to play for a contender.

  2. realnflmaster says: Mar 6, 2014 2:25 PM

    Never had what it took to be a JET.

  3. smalltownqb says: Mar 6, 2014 2:26 PM

    Makes sense that he comes back at reduced playing salary playing for a contender. Broncos have leverage here.

  4. proteus914 says: Mar 6, 2014 2:32 PM

    Thanks Champ for everything you did for the Broncos. Good luck in everything you do from here on out.

  5. captainwisdom8888 says: Mar 6, 2014 2:35 PM

    Of course they’re gonna gush over him even as they cut him, and there’s nothing backhanded at all about the comments and praise for Champ…the guy was truly great and the Broncos want to make it very clear to everyone as to just how much they value his commitment and contributions to the team. Champ has been around long enough to know the business side of this game, and I’m sure he saw this coming. Nobody lasts forever in this league and all you can hope for is that you go out on a good note, which a lot of guys don’t get to do.

  6. 5to46hawkfan says: Mar 6, 2014 2:36 PM

    Great guy but he’s done – best of luck champ!

  7. azwildcats96 says: Mar 6, 2014 2:39 PM

    I guarantee that they want Champ back but for a reduced salary and possibly at safety. If he can come back healthy it’s not far fetched that he could be a pro-bowl caliber safety.

  8. si1m says: Mar 6, 2014 2:45 PM

    He can follow in the footsteps of another great Bronco in going to the Baltimore Ravens to get his ring: Shannon Sharpe.

    Dumervil did it, Champ is welcome too – for minimal salary of course. Unlike the Steelers, we’re not going to pay 7 million a year for a guy who’s eligible for AARP

  9. nnagi says: Mar 6, 2014 2:47 PM

    you gotta know when to hold’em and know when to fold’em

  10. stoolerz says: Mar 6, 2014 2:49 PM

    This what happens when you have to pay for Peyton Manning to be your quarterback.

  11. thebirdsareback says: Mar 6, 2014 2:50 PM

    Si1m…you are spot on. i was logging on to share the EXACT same opinion. Champ Bailey has Baltimore written all over it. With him and Elam, that could be a nice little 1 year project. Vet min deal. Love the idea

  12. somethingsmellsrotten says: Mar 6, 2014 2:52 PM

    Hey Chump…how does that ring fit? Oh wait…nevermind.

  13. 6ball says: Mar 6, 2014 2:59 PM

    .

    In today’s NFL you can’t afford to pay for past performance. I understand when a player leaves a team for a better contract, and I understand that a team may cut him at any time they see fit..

    It’s truly a harsh existence in many ways. Especially considering the average shelf life of an NFL player is 3 years.

    .

  14. infectorman says: Mar 6, 2014 3:02 PM

    “Champ will always be a Bronco” – John Elway

    Just like Joe Montana will always be a 49er, Ray Bourque will always be a Boston Bruin and Peyton Manning will always be a COLT…

  15. timbuttrum says: Mar 6, 2014 3:04 PM

    Great Career Gramp Bailey, but it is time to hang it up.

  16. pleasefiregoodell says: Mar 6, 2014 3:06 PM

    I agree this guy was all class

  17. dtskywalkerjordanshero says: Mar 6, 2014 3:07 PM

    For those who saw him play. Week in and week out, he shutdown the best receivers this league has to offer. For those that didnt see him play, dont be a hater, just be respectful! He didnt play just one side like Sherman as an example. Bailey would be assigned to the other teams top gun no matter where he lined up. The receivers height didnt make a difference either. Bailey is 6’0″. And I have never seen such a sure handed tackler on receivers and against the run. 52 career INTs…A true shutdown corner! Congrats on a great career!

    BTW – He could easily play safety better than most now.

  18. seantaylorscareschucknorris says: Mar 6, 2014 3:11 PM

    Champ Bailey is a class act??? Nobody seems to talk about how he used to chase around high school girls when he was in Washington. More like Chump Bailey

  19. scw1993 says: Mar 6, 2014 3:21 PM

    This is what happens when you have manning hamstringing the team.

  20. freepretzels says: Mar 6, 2014 3:27 PM

    Shame. His refusal to play safety last year really hurt him.

  21. ggallin4evr says: Mar 6, 2014 3:28 PM

    Why not go after Hanford Dixon?

  22. meatcarroll says: Mar 6, 2014 3:46 PM

    “They’re too confident. WE’RE the better team!” – Champ Bailey, pregame of Super Bowl XLVIII

    Famous last words.

  23. broncosnative says: Mar 6, 2014 6:23 PM

    The few of you that are making your negative remarks have no class and you’re a disgrace to what a real football fan is. Always, ALAWYS digging in the past trying to find something bad to say about a guy who shows the real meaning of being a professional athlete. Bailey in his prime and throughout his career didn’t have to run his mouth on how good he was unlike revis and Sherman, he let his play do all the talking. My favorite all time champ’s plays was on 2006 when he took Brady’s end zone int 100 yards down field in the playoffs. No doubt when he calls it a career, he will sign a 1 day contract to retire a broncos and they will retire #24 jersey because only the best has worn that number and no scrub should be allowed to tarnish it

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