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Broncos cut Bailey

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Champ Bailey, a 12-time Pro Bowl cornerback who became one of the most accomplished players in Denver Broncos history during his 10 years with the team, was released by the club on Thursday.

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Bailey was due a $1 million roster bonus on March 15. Releasing Bailey saves the Broncos $9 million against the 2014 salary cap and put the veteran on the free agent market for the first time in his 15-year career.

“This was a difficult decision for our team with everything that Champ Bailey has meant to the Denver Broncos and this community over the last 10 years,” Broncos general manager John Elway said in a statement. “Without question, he’s among the best cornerbacks to ever play the game and one of the finest players in the history of the Broncos. You couldn’t ask for more in a player than what Champ brought to this team.”

Bears, Hester part ways

The Chicago Bears informed standout return specialist Devin Hester that the team would not re-sign him for the 2014 season. The team also signed defensive end Trevor Scott to a one-year contract.

Hester, 31, is the NFL’s career leader in punt return touchdowns (13) and total kick return touchdowns (18). Including his 108-yard missed field goal return touchdown, Hester’s 19 overall return touchdowns are tied with Hall of Famer Deion Sanders for the most in regular-season history. When adding Hester’s 92-yard kickoff return touchdown to open Super Bowl XLI, his 20 overall return touchdowns (including the postseason) are an NFL record.

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