End of era may be nearing in Denver

December, 28, 2010
12/28/10
6:25
PM ET
Champ Bailey may be entering his final week with the Denver Broncos and the future Hall of Fame cornerback already may have played his final game with the organization.

Whether he’s on the field or on the sideline against visiting San Diego on Sunday, Denver fans should enjoy Bailey. His seven-season stint with the team may be coming to an end. Bailey aggravated a heel injury Sunday against Houston. Interim Denver coach Eric Studesville said Monday that Bailey will be evaluated throughout the week. I could see a scenario where Bailey is rested to avoid further damage the injury.

Bailey is a free agent after the season. Denver and Bailey were minutes from finalizing an extension early in the season when the Broncos tabled the talks until after the season. Now, those talks will surely be put off until after Denver forms its front office. If John Elway joins the club as expected and if current general manager Brian Xanders stays, Denver may be more inclined to pursue keeping Bailey than a new regime.

Bailey is on the record for saying that he’d be interested in staying in Denver. His agent Jack Reale said there has been no change in contract talks.

Regardless, Bailey, 32, had another strong season for Denver. Because Bailey is getting older, he may be interested in going on the open market to go to a winning team instead of staying in Denver where the Broncos are rebuilding.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN San Francisco 49ers reporter

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