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Redskins Have Signed A Champ


First-round draft pick Champ Bailey signed a five-year, $9.64 million contract with the Washington Redskins on Saturday.

Bailey will also receive a $5.2 million signing bonus and has additional incentives up to $2.56 million. The cornerback is expected to report to the team's opening day of training camp Sunday.

He played offense and defense in college and has expressed a desire to do likewise in the pros.

"It was a big relief to get it over with and got it done on time," Bailey said Saturday at Redskins Park after being introduced by new team owner Daniel Snyder. "I'm glad to be a Redskin. Obviously, if you miss any time in training camp, you're going to be set back. So I'm very happy to be here for the start of camp."

Redskins coach Norv Turner expressed relief to have Bailey for opening day of camp.

"From the time he came here in May until mid-July, Champ has done a good job in our offseason program," Turner said. "He did a great job in our mini-camps and got himself ready. There are very, very, very few rookies who are successful if they miss any part of training camp."

Bailey, a 6-1, 181-pounder, played cornerback and wide receiver for Georgia. Defensively, he made 52 tackles, including 30 solos and four for losses, with three interceptions and seven pass deflections. He returned 12 kickoffs for 261 yards (21.8 average) and four punts for 49 yards (12.3).

As a wide receiver, Bailey had 47 receptions for 744 yards (15.8 average) and five touchdowns. He also rushed for 84 yards on 16 carries.

"Personally, I have goals," Bailey said. "I want to be Rookie of the Year. But my main goal is to help this team get into the playoffs, which hasn't happened for a while. I'm just going to go out and do what Coach Turner wants me to do."

Turner said Bailey won't initially be asked to play on both sides of the ball.

"When you look at it from a standpoint of getting excited about having a talented guy who can make a difference in the game, we're going to do whatever Champ's capable of doing in terms of him helping us somewhere down the road offensively," Turner said. "We will not even consider that until he's comfortable in playing at a high level as a corner."

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