There’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding a possible lockout after the current CBA expires on March 4, but the Denver Broncos and Champ Bailey know something for sure: the CB will spend another 4 years with the organization, despite all the temptations that the 2011 free agency meant for him.
His expiring contract could’ve meant a wild ride for Bailey in the offseason. As one of the top free agents, he would’ve been courted by some of the top organizations, and would probably have landed a more lucrative deal than the 4-year one he just agreed to in Denver. The uncertainty that the looming lockout added to the equation was enough to push him to make a decision and to make it fast. Bailey said that the lack of a CBA and the uncertainties surrounding a new one left a lot of questions about how teams would react to free agents. Instead of packing up and going to an organization that may or may not be ready for him, he decided to stick with the Broncos, despite the fact that the team had pulled a 4-year contract from him in October. Josh McDaniels’ departure and the fact that there are now new people in charge had a lot to do with Bailey’s decision too. Still one of the top cornerbacks of the league at 32 and with 10 Pro Bowl appearances under his belt, Bailey reasoned that sticking with the Broncos was the best way to forward his career towards his ultimate objective: a Super Bowl ring.
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Coming off a 5-year playoff drought, Bailey obviously hopes that new head coach John Fox will prove instrumental in turning the team around. Happy as Champ seems to be with his Broncos commitment, the Broncos seem to be pretty happy with his decision too. According to general manager Brian Xanders, signing Bailey was the team’s top priority this season.
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