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Bailey 'honored' to join Broncos

DENVER -- Cornerback Champ Bailey finally arrived Thursday,
and immediately promised to upgrade Denver's defense.

The Denver Broncos completed their trade for Bailey, one of the
NFL's few lockdown cornerbacks, by sending running back Clinton
Portis to the Washington Redskins.

"I'm honored that these guys showed a lot of interest in
bringing me here," Bailey said. "I can promise one thing, that
they'll get 110 percent out of me every day. I will be a class guy,
and I won't be a disappointment.

"I feel I'm a versatile corner and I can fit into any defense.
I'm just really an addition, hopefully to push us over the top."

Bailey also said he was told by Broncos coaches that the team
would play a lot of man-to-man on third downs. "I'm all for
that,'' he said. "I always try to push my coaches to let us play
man-to-man. I love to cover guys."

Broncos owner Pat Bowlen said the team "hasn't had a corner who
comes close to him in a long time."

Bailey joins a defense that ranked fourth in the NFL last season
in total defense and sixth in pass defense.

Late Tuesday, Bailey agreed to a seven-year, $63 million
contract with the Broncos that includes an $18 million signing
bonus and $5 million in other bonuses. The deal makes him the NFL's
highest-paid cornerback.

Earlier this week, Portis agreed to an eight-year, $50.5 million
contract with the Redskins that included $17 million worth of
bonuses.

The agreements cleared the way for the Redskins' four-time Pro
Bowler to be traded to the Broncos for Portis, who ran for
1,500-plus yards each of his first two seasons. Denver also
receives Washington's second-round draft pick this season.

The Portis-for-Bailey deal is the first NFL trade exchanging two
players coming off Pro Bowl seasons since the San Diego Chargers
traded quarterback John Hadl to the Rams for defensive tackle Coy
Bacon following the 1972 season.

The trade amounted to a swap of Pro Bowl players who were
unhappy with their contract situations.

The Redskins offered Bailey a nine-year, $55 million deal before
last season, but he rejected it because it was back-loaded. Last
month, the Redskins placed a franchise tag on Bailey to prevent him
from hitting the open market.

Portis had two years remaining on the contract that he signed as
a second-round draft pick in 2002. Displeased with the $300,000 he
made last season and the $380,000 he was to make in 2004, he hinted
he might be a holdout when training camp started unless the Broncos
reworked his deal.

Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said the Broncos were unwilling to
renegotiate with Portis because ``we have seven guys on our team
who are in the same situation as Clinton. If we restructured
everybody who came in and said they had a good year, we wouldn't
have a football team."

Shanahan said Portis' agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told Broncos
general manager Ted Sundquist that Portis would hold out unless he
was given a new contract.

"We had a running back we didn't feel was going to be happy,"
Shanahan said. "He felt he was one of the top running backs in the
NFL and wanted to be paid accordingly at market value.

"I told him if he could work out a trade with a first- or
second-round draft choice and that would make him happy, I would
give his agent freedom to do it. And they struck a deal that we
felt was good for us and, I think, Washington felt was good for
them as well."

Shanahan insisted the Broncos would find a competent running
back to replace Portis, noting that Mike Anderson and Quentin
Griffin are the leading candidates. Anderson rushed for 1,487 yards
as a rookie in 2000 but since has moved to fullback.