June 14, 2015

Highlighted Year: Champ Bailey, 2005

Cornerback, Denver Broncos

Age: 27
7th season in pro football, 2nd with Broncos
College: Georgia
Height: 6’0”   Weight: 192

A consensus All-American cornerback in 1998, Bailey starred on both offense and defense in college and was chosen by the Washington Redskins in the first round of the ’99 NFL draft (seventh overall). He moved directly into the starting lineup and intercepted five passes. Tough and smart, and with ideal size and speed, he quickly became established as an elite player at his position and in 2000 was named to the Pro Bowl for the first of eight consecutive seasons in addition to receiving first-team All-NFC recognition. In 2004, after five years in Washington, he was dealt to Denver in a blockbuster trade for RB Clinton Portis and achieved consensus first-team All-NFL honors for the first time.

2005 Season Summary
Appeared in 14 of 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Interceptions – 8 [4, tied with Nathan Vasher]
Most interceptions, game – 1 on eight occasions
Int. return yards – 139 [8]
Most int. return yards, game – 65 (on 1 int.) at Dallas 11/24
Int. TDs – 2 [1, tied with four others]
Sacks – 0
Fumble recoveries – 0
Forced fumbles – 1
Tackles – 59
Assists – 5

TDs – 2
Points – 12

Postseason: 2 G
Interceptions – 1
Int. return yards – 100
Sacks – 0
TDs – 0

Awards & Honors:
1st team All-NFL: AP, PFWA, Sporting News
1st team All-AFC: Pro Football Weekly
Pro Bowl

Broncos went 13-3 to finish first in the AFC West. Won AFC Divisional playoff over New England Patriots (27-13). Lost AFC Championship to Pittsburgh Steelers (34-17).

Bailey followed up in 2006 by leading the NFL in both interceptions (10) and interception return yards (162) and was a consensus first-team All-NFL selection for the third straight year. With teams not throwing in his direction, his interception total dropped to three in ’07, but he still achieved Pro Bowl recognition. Injuries cost Bailey seven games in 2008 but he bounced back in ’09 to return to the Pro Bowl for another four straight years. Even with declining skills, he was still a formidable cover corner well into his 30s. A foot injury limited Bailey to five games in 2013, although he returned to play in the postseason, including the Super Bowl loss to Seattle that was his last game with the Broncos. He was released following the season, signed with New Orleans, but failed to make the team and retired. Overall, Bailey played for 15 years, ten of them with Denver, and intercepted 52 passes, 34 as a member of the Broncos, four of which he returned for touchdowns. He was a consensus first-team All-NFL selection three times, received at least some first-team recognition after three other seasons, and was selected to the Pro Bowl 12 times, a record for a cornerback. He was named to the All-2000s Team by the Pro Football Hall of Fame. His brother Rodney “Boss” Bailey also played in the NFL with the Lions and Broncos.


Highlighted Years features players who were consensus first-team All-League* selections or league* or conference** leaders in the following statistical categories:

Rushing: Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Passing: Yards, Completion Pct., Yards per Attempt, TDs, Rating
Receiving: Catches, Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Scoring: TDs, Points, Field Goals (min. 5)
All-Purpose: Total Yards
Defense: Interceptions, Sacks
Kickoff Returns: Average
Punt Returns: Average
Punting: Average

*Leagues include NFL (1920 to date), AFL (1926), AFL (1936-37), AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974-75), USFL (1983-85)

**NFC/AFC since 1970