DENVER -- Champ Bailey spent a decade with the Denver Broncos, making eight Pro Bowls and picking off 34 passes even with quarterbacks only reluctantly glancing his way. Chris Short Jersey . This number was hard to overlook: $10 million. In a cost-cutting move Thursday, the Broncos released Bailey, the teams defensive leader whos been a fan favourite since he was acquired in a trade with Washington in 2004. Theres simply no room for loyalty in the NFL, especially with free agency about to start and with holes needing to be filled, something that became apparent to the Broncos after a 43-8 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl last month. Broncos boss John Elway called the decision to release Bailey a "difficult" one given all that the perennial Pro Bowl cornerback has brought to the team over his 10 seasons in the Mile High City. "Without question, hes among the best cornerbacks to ever play the game and one of the finest players in the history of the Broncos," Elway said in a statement. "You couldnt 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." But age and injuries had begun to catch up with one of the best shutdown cornerbacks to play the game. Bailey, a 12-time Pro Bowler overall, is scheduled to make around $10 million next season, which is a lot of money for a cornerback who may be asked to switch to safety or possibly inside to the slot position. This was a hard season for the 35-year-old Bailey as he missed 11 games because of a nagging left foot sprain originally suffered in the preseason on Aug. 17 in Seattle. Only later did Bailey reveal he sustained a Lisfranc injury. He returned late in the season to help the Broncos advance to the Super Bowl, but wasnt back to his old form -- the form that had QBs scanning everywhere but his direction. In his prime, Bailey wasnt always very busy because opponents simply picked on his counterpart. And yet he still has 52 career interceptions, the most among active cornerbacks. "I consider it a privilege to have coached Champ these last three years," Broncos coach John Fox said. "Theres 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 15-year veteran mentored many teammates, teaching them the tricks of the cornerback trade. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, an impending free agent, once said he used to study film of Bailey simply because, "If youre a cornerback, you have to be a fan of Champ Bailey. Anytime a guy does that for a period of time he did it, 14 or 15 years, youve got to watch him." Rodgers-Cromartie and Bailey were supposed to be a lockdown tandem in 2013. Until Bailey got hurt. So in stepped Chris Harris Jr., an undrafted player out of Kansas who soaked up all of Baileys suggestions as he waited his turn. Once he got on the field, Harris became almost a copy of Bailey -- or as much as anyone can be. Harris blew out a knee against San Diego in the divisional round, leading to Baileys return to his usual spot at left corner. On his Twitter account, Harris thanked Bailey for his help, saying he was blessed to be able to "lineup opposite Champ and learn from a Great." Harris wasnt alone in his praise, with linebacker Danny Trevathan posting on Twitter: "Champ. You taught me a lot!" Although quarterbacks didnt always pick on him, Bailey still found a way to get involved. He prided himself on his tackling and frequently crept up to the line of scrimmage to help out. In 215 regular-season games, Bailey has 983 tackles, three sacks, nine forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries. His best statistical season was 2006, when he had a career-high 10 interceptions and finished as runner-up for The Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year. About the only thing that eluded Bailey in his time with Denver was that Super Bowl ring. But Elway said there is a "ring" in Baileys future because Elway said hes going to have a place in the teams Ring of Fame once his career is finished. Maybe down the road there will be a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, too, which would make him the first Denver defensive player to be enshrined. "On behalf of everyone with the Broncos, I wish Champ all the best and thank him for everything he did for this franchise," Elway said. "Champ will always be a Bronco." Mike Lieberthal Jersey . Jovanovski, the 2012 champ seeded fifth, will meet surprise Japanese qualifier Misa Eguchi on Friday. Eguchi, ranked 183rd, qualified for her first WTA main draw this week, then beat No. Seranthony Dominguez Jersey .com) - Klay Thompson is quickly proving he is worth every penny of his recently signed four-year contract extension.ARIZONA COYOTESLAST SEASON: 37-30-15, 89 points. Ninth overall in Western Conference.COACH: Dave Tippett, fifth season with Arizona, 156-96-42; In 10th NHL season as coach, 427-252-107.ADDED: C Sam Gagner, C Joe Vitale, RW B.J. Crombeen, G Devan Dubnyk.LOST: RW Radim Vrbata, C Mike Ribeiro, D Derek Morris, LW Paul Bissonnette, G Thomas Greiss.PLAYER TO WATCH: C Antoine Vermette. As Ribeiro struggled late last season, Vermette surged to the forefront as Arizonas top centre. He led the Coyotes with 24 goals last season and is a superb two-way player a€” a perfect fiit for Tippetts defence-first system. Tim Keefe Jersey. . A bigger season could be on the horizon as the Coyotes lean on him more.OUTLOOK: The Coyotes should contend for a playoff spot in the Western Conference. Arizona lost captain Shane Doan for 12 games due to Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and goalie Mike Smith was out the final 10 games with a knee injury. Even with the injuries, the Coyotes finished two points out of the Wests final playoff spot. Stay relatively healthy and get back to their defensive ways, they might be in the mix again this season. ' ' '
9 déc. 2019
Oklahoma City, OK (SportsNetwork. Milwaukee Bucks Shirts .com) - Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant combined for 51 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder took down the struggling Bucks 114-101 on Tuesday. Westbrook finished with a game-high 28 points, Durant scored 23 and both handed out seven assists in Oklahoma Citys third straight win. The Thunder, who are finally healthy and have won five of their last six games, improved to 4-1 since Westbrook returned to the lineup and 3-1 with Durant. Reggie Jackson donated 18 points off the bench and Serge Ibaka made all five of his shots and free throws for 15 points. A lot of guys chipped in and contributed to the win, said Thunder head coach Scott Brooks. I like the speed we were playing up and down the court. O.J. Mayo led Milwaukee with 18 points and Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with 17, but the slumping Bucks got destroyed on the glass. The Thunder, who entered the game with a plus-6.5 rebounding margin over their last six games, outrebounded the Bucks 54-31. Milwaukee has lost five of six on the heels of a three-game win streak. We missed a lot of shots that we normally make and I think that carried over to our defense, Bucks head coach Jason Kidd said. The Bucks led 31-26 after the first, but the Thunder flexed their muscles in the second. Ibakas layup at 4:50 tied the game at 47 and jumpstarted a 12-0 run. Jabari Parker finally ended the surge with a jam 3 1/2 minutes later, but OKC still led 61-52 at halftime. The Bucks got within seven points twice early in the fourth quarter, but no closer. Durant and Westbrook checked out with 3:36 remaining with the game well in hand. Game Notes The Thunder improved to 5-5 at home ... Durant and Thunder center Kendrick Perkins both had a game-high nine rebounds ... Both teams shot 4-for-21 from behind the arc. Milwaukee Bucks Gear .Bacca took advantage of Cristian Alvarezs hesitation to head a lobbed pass over the goalkeeper and then used his feet to roll the ball into an empty net in the eighth minute. The Colombia strikers 10th goal pulled him level with Lionel Messi as the leagues third-leading scorers, far behind Cristiano Ronaldos runaway tally of 23 goals. Cameron Reynolds Jersey . The deal will pay Hainsey $3 million for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons and $2.5 million in 2016-17.Ponte Vedra Beach, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Bhavik Patel, a Web.com Tour player the last two seasons, was suspended by the PGA Tour for use of performance-enhancing substances. The PGA Tour, which oversees the Web.com Tour, released a statement that read, The PGA Tour announced today that Bhavik Patel has violated the PGA Tour Anti-Doping Policys ban on the use of performance-enhancing substances and has been suspended for one year. He accepted a provisional suspension on October 7, 2014, and he will be eligible to return on October 7, 2015. In the stateement, Patel stated, In an effort to overcome an injury, I made a lapse of judgment. Adrian Dantley Jersey . I regret my decision but have learned from the experience and look forward to returning to competition. Patel competed in 12 Web.com Tour events in 2014. He made the cut in seven events and finished 114th on the money list. His best finish was a share of sixth at the Chile Classic. The 24-year-old also had a sixth-place finish in 2013 at the Colombia Championship. He made 14 cuts in 21 starts that season and finished 56th on the money list. ' ' '