The Denver Broncos on Thursday signed unrestricted free-agent linebacker Boss Bailey, Head Coach Mike Shanahan announced. As per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Bailey (6-foot-3, 235 pounds) is entering his sixth NFL season and joins the Broncos after spending the last five years with Detroit. The Lions selected him in the second round (34th overall) of the 2003 NFL Draft from the University of Georgia.
Bailey, who has started at least 11 games in every season that he has played, is the younger brother of Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey and followed him as an All-Southeastern Conference selection at Georgia. The two will be the fourth pair of brothers to play for the Broncos and will join Dave and Doug Widell (1990-92) along with Eldon and William Danenhauer (1960) as the third set to play for the franchise at the same time.
The 28-year-old Bailey has appeared in 58 career games (51 starts), posting 258 tackles (188 solo), seven sacks (40.5 yds.) and two interceptions (32 yds.). He also has registered 13 pass breakups, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and seven special-teams tackles for his career.
In 2007, Bailey posted a career-high 3.5 sacks (16.0 yds.) while adding 47 tackles (33 solo), two pass breakups and one forced fumble in 15 games (12 starts) at strongside linebacker for Detroit. He started eight games at strongside linebacker and four contests at middle linebacker for the Lions in 2006, appearing in all 16 games and totaling 65 tackles (48 solo) with one sack that year.
After missing the 2004 season with a knee injury, Bailey started all 11 games played in 2005 and had 58 tackles, one sack and one interception, which he returned 34 yards for a touchdown. He was named All-Rookie by ESPN.com and Football Digest with Detroit in 2003 when he set a career high with 88 tackles (68 solo) as a 16-game starter.
A first-team All-SEC selection as well as a semifinalist for the Butkus and Lombardi Awards as a senior, Bailey was a three-year starter at Georgia. He received honorable mention All-America honors from USA Today at Charlton County High School in Folkston, Ga.
Rodney "Boss" Bailey was born on Oct. 14, 1979.
BROTHERS WHO HAVE PLAYED FOR THE BRONCOS, TEAM HISTORY
Player Pos. Years GP GS
Albert Carmichael HB 1960-61 16 N/A
Paul Carmichael HB 1965 3 N/A
*Eldon Danenhauer T 1960-65 79 N/A
*William Danenhauer E 1960 4 N/A
*Dave Widell C/G 1990-94 79 39
*Doug Widell G 1989-92 64 58
* Spent at least one season on the Broncos' roster during the same time as his brother.