Denver Broncos veteran cornerback Champ Bailey will count $10 million against the salary cap next season, which also happens to be a contract year for the 35-year-old Georgia product. Bailey will make $9 million in base salary, and he also has a roster bonus of $1 million that will kick in on the 15th of March. All of this is simply far too much for a declining corner who is only about an average starter at this stage of his career, and he’ll have to take a paycut. At $10 million, Bailey’s cap hit is simply untenable for a Denver Broncos team that has some very difficult decisions to make this offseason, particularly when it comes to free agency. They already most likely have to let Eric Decker and Knowshon Moreno walk, and they can’t afford to lose cap flexibility in order to re-sign other impending FAs like star CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
According to ESPN NFL Nation’s Jeff Legwold, Broncos GM John Elway stated that he will sit down with Bailey before free agency hits on the 11th of March and ask him if he would be willing to take a paycut. Elway specifically said, “Yeah, we’re still in the process of talking about that. I’m going to sit down with Champ first and find out what he wants to do and go from there.”
In order to stay with the team he has been with since 2004, Bailey will have to paycut, and I have a feeling he will do exactly that. He knows he won’t make much on the open market, and he has almost no leverage at this point. I’m sure he also loves the Broncos and is looking forward to gunning for a ring to top off a Hall of Fame career.