One of Elway’s First Acts: Re-Starting Bailey Negotiatons

Champ Bailey

The Elway-led Broncos moved to quickly re-start negotiations with Champ Bailey after they were halted by the previous administration in October. (PHOTO: MAXDENVER.COM)

DENVER – The first, biggest success of the the “three-legged stool” that represents the new Broncos’ football hierarchy was the re-signing of cornerback Champ Bailey last month.

Tuesday, executive vice president John Elway noted that the Broncos acted quickly to reverse field from the club’s decision in October to halt negotiations with Bailey on a new, long-term contract.

“All the talk was that the deal had been pulled off the table. I wasn’t there when it got pulled,” Elway said. “I said, ‘Well, let’s put it back on the table and see what the reaction is.

“Once we put it back on the table, it was just a matter of negotiating the deal and getting him back here, because we knew we wanted him back here.”

It quickly became apparent to Elway, head coach John Fox and general manager Brian Xanders that re-signing Bailey was of the utmost importance.

“Once we evaluated the free agent market and our own team, we came out of that meeting saying, ‘Champ is our No. 1 priority. He is our best defensive player. Let’s get him done,’” Xanders said on Feb. 25 in Indianapolis.

Elway and Xanders said that day that new Fox helped seal the deal to keep Bailey for the next four years.

“(Bailey) had a great meeting with Coach Fox for 45 minutes and he came out of there smiling,” Xanders said a the Scouting Combine. “A lot of players in this league want to play for Coach Fox.”

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About Andrew Mason

Andrew Mason has covered the NFL since 1999, when he worked as an editor on when the site was managed by He worked six seasons (2002-07) covering the Broncos on their official website and two (2008-09) on the Panthers' site. He began in 2010 and now contributes to, The Sporting News and The New York Times.
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  1. Up the creek without a paddle.

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