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Broncos introduce Champ

Postby WebHamster » Fri Mar 05, 2004 2:00 am

Denver, CO (Sports Network) - The Denver Broncos unveiled their new star cornerback Champ Bailey at a Thursday afternoon press conference.

Bailey, who was acquired from Washington in exchange for running back Clinton Portis, signed a seven-year, $63 million deal with his new team. The contract also includes an $18 million signing bonus.

The deal for the four-time Pro Bowl cornerback is considered the largest ever for a defensive back.

"We made what I think is a sound decision by getting one of -- if not the -- top cover corner in the league," Denver general manager Ted Sundquist said. "But we've structured so it's not going to tear us up in the next two, three, four years. Down the road, we'll feel like we've got a Pro Bowl player at what we consider a very good cap number."

Washington had slapped Bailey, who was traded along with a second-round pick in April's draft, with a franchise tag earlier this off-season, but then openly stated a desire to deal him.

Bailey, who was given permission to negotiate with any other club, was offered a nine-year, $55 million contract and $14.7 million in bonus money by the Redskins before the start of last season. However, he had several problems with the deal and turned down the offer.

The 25-year-old former Georgia star posted 71 tackles, two interceptions and one forced fumble last season. He could be the dominant cornerback that Denver head coach Mike Shanahan has long coveted.

"I won't be a disappointment. I can guarantee that," Bailey said.

In five years with Washington, Bailey has 18 interceptions and 313 tackles. He was a first-round pick of the Redskins in the 1999 NFL Draft.

Portis just signed a new deal with Washington, which reportedly includes a signing bonus somewhere in the range of $17 million, that is the largest ever for an NFL running back. He was also introduced by his new team at a Thursday afternoon press conference.

Despite missing three games in 2003 with ankle, knee and sternum injuries, Portis ran for a career-high 1,591 yards with 14 touchdowns, and led the league with a 5.5 yards-per-carry average.

He also rushed for 5.5 yards-per-carry in his rookie campaign, when he finished with 1,508 yards and 15 scores in being named the NFL's 2002 offensive rookie of the year.
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