After a decade with the Denver Broncos, Champ Bailey won’t be wearing orange and blue in 2014.
“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,” Executive Vice President of Football Operations/General Manager John Elway said. “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. His combination of elite talent, class, leadership and competitiveness made him one of the all-time greats.
“On behalf of everyone with the Broncos, I wish Champ all the best and thank him for everything he did for this franchise. Champ will always be a Bronco. We look forward to his Ring of Fame and Pro Football Hall of Fame election in the years ahead.”
The 15-year veteran came to Denver in a trade with the Washington Redskins on March 4, 2004 in exchange for running back Clinton Portis.
“I consider it a privilege to have coached Champ these last three years,” Head Coach John Fox said. “I thank him and truly appreciate everything he did for our team. There’s no doubt he played an integral role in establishing a culture of winning here. Aside from his natural ability, Champ set a great example with his hard work and relentless commitment to mastering his craft.”
Bailey’s 12 Pro Bowls are the most for a defensive back in NFL history. Including the postseason, Bailey has made over 1,000 tackles in his career to go with his 54 interceptions, 245 passes defensed, nine forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries, three sacks and four defensive tocuhdowns.
“It’s all about my family and these guys that I strap it up with every day,” the cornerback said. “They really made this happen for me. It’s a good way to top off 15 years.”
The 35-year-old Bailey will become a free agent for the first time in his career.