The Washington Redskins selected cornerback Champ Bailey with the seventh overall selection in the 1999 NFL Draft. He went on to live up to his draft status and much more. After his fifth season, Washington traded Bailey and a second-round pick to the Denver Broncos for running back Clinton Portis.
All Champ did from there was land three consecutive all-pro awards and dominate the league at the cornerback position. He finished his career with 12 Pro Bowl selections, 3 First-team All-Pro awards, 4 Second-team All-Pro awards, and was named to the NFL 2000s All Decade Team.
How to encapsulate Bailey’s Hall of Fame worthiness in one line? I found an answer to that question from this tweet.
Champ in 2006 was thrown at 35 times. Gave up 4 catches. 11 PBUs. 10 INTERCEPTIONS— Darius Butler (@DariusJButler) August 3, 2019
Champ Bailey had the ball thrown his way just 35 times in 2006. He gave up four receptions, but landed 11 pass breakups and an incredible 10 interceptions. That season, combined with the season he had in 2005, ensured quarterbacks stayed away from Champ for years after.
One little known fact about Bailey is that he played for 10 different defensive coordinators in his career. It would be 11, but he played under Mike Nolan under Norv Turner in 1999 and then again in 2009 under Josh McDaniels. That’s an insanely high number and a testament to Bailey’s greatness. It didn’t matter how much the scheme changed around him, he played at a Hall of Fame level.
In Bailey’s final season, he reached Super Bowl 48 with the Broncos. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be as the team floundered in a blowout loss to the Seattle Seahawks. He officially retired on October 18, 2014 after 15 seasons in the NFL.
Champ Bailey Career Stats