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Champ Bailey reportedly will return to Denver Broncos

One national outlet recently speculated that Denver Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey could be a salary-cap casualty after being torched by Baltimore Ravens burner Torrey Smith in the AFC divisional playoffs.

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Even with a $10 million cap hit, that's not going to happen, assures The Denver Post's Mike Klis.

Although the season-ending loss was Bailey's worst game in half of a decade, the 14-year veteran still played at a Pro Bowl level throughout the regular season. Tasked with shadowing opposing No. 1 receivers such as Andre Johnson, Vincent Jackson, and A.J. Green, Bailey still finished fourth among all cornerbacks in first downs/touchdowns per coverage snap.

The Broncos might be operating on a tight budget with Chris Harris and Tony Carter emerging as quality young cornerbacks, but they are also squarely in the middle of a championship window at the tail end of Peyton Manning's career. It wouldn't make sense to discard their second-best defensive player while gearing up for a Super Bowl run.

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.

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