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NFL news: Champ Bailey will return in 2014, Super Bowl draws record rankings

Champ Bailey came up short of winning his first Super Bowl championship, but the veteran wants to make another run at it next year, possibly at a different position.

Kevin C. Cox

SB Nation 2014 NFL Playoff Coverage

Although the game didn't end up being much of a contest, with Seattle winning its first Super Bowl in blowout fashion, Super Bowl XLVIII still drew plenty of interest, becoming the most-watched television show in history.

An average audience of 111.5 million people watched the game in the United States, according to Fox Sports. That was just enough to surpass the previous record of 111.3 million established by Super Bowl XLVI. The matchup of the No. 1 defense against the No. 1 offense played a big part in drawing a record audience. The rating at kickoff of a 44.5 household rating and 70 share was a new record, 12 percent higher than the rating at kickoff last year.

Although the game turned into a blowout, viewership remained relatively steady. The ratings late in the fourth quarter were only five percent lower than they were for the entire game. The halftime show was also record-breaking with 115.3 million viewers watching the performance by Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. That broke the previous halftime record of 114.0 million viewers set two years ago.

Champ Bailey wants to return in 2014

Bailey wasn't able to win his first Super Bowl ring on Sunday, but he will return to give it another shot next season. Bailey said he's not done playing football yet. That doesn't necessarily mean he'll return in Denver, or continue to play corner.

Bailey is set to earn $10 million next season. With a few pending free agents, the Broncos may attempt to restructure Bailey's contract, or even release the 15-year veteran. He was limited to five games this season and was not as effective as he was earlier in his career. It's possible he could extend his career by moving to safety, similar to the transition Charles Woodson made to prolong his career.

Ray Rice says he "should have thought twice" about playing through injury

Rice had a down year in 2013, finishing with 660 rushing yards while averaging 3.1 yards per carry -- the lowest mark of his career. Some of the reason for the struggles was a hip injury. While he played through the injury, Rice said it limited what he was able to do. Now, following the year, he said he should have thought twice about playing through the injury.

"I played through an injury and I probably should have thought twice about it, but I'm glad I was able to push through the season and not have any surgical procedures," Rice said, via Fox Sports.

While he had a down season, Rice said it won't be a sign of things to come. He said he expects a return to form next season and still has "a lot of game left in me."

Quick hits:
  • Free agency is just around the corner and according to a report from the Palm Beach Post, soon-to-be free agent left tackle Branden Albert could be the Dolphins' top target in free agency. He was nearly traded to the Dolphins last season after Kansas City used the franchise tag to retain him.
  • Roddy White is entering the final year of his contract and said he would like to play the rest of his career in Atlanta. Although he was limited by injuries last season, White is still one of the Falcons' top offensive weapons. There is a chance the team could extend his contract this offseason.

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