One of the NFL’s all-time great cornerbacks is retiring.
Champ Bailey, who earned an astounding 12 Pro Bowl nods during his 15-year career, announced today that his playing days are over. His agent, Jack Reale, made the announcement.
"At this time, Champ has decided not to accept on-field opportunities and pursue another career path," Reale told Adam Schefter. "He could be playing right now if he wanted to be…But he decided it was best to move on to those other areas. I think everybody on his team agreed that was a good approach."
Bailey made 207 starts over 15 seasons with the Redskins and Broncos. He was universally recognized as one of the games few true shutdown corners during his career, and will retire with 52 career interceptions.
There’s an extremely small handful of players in the NFL that are bonafide first-ballot Hall of Famers, and Bailey is one of them. His 12 Pro Bowls are tied for the most all-time among defensive backs. The only players in NFL history to earn more Pro Bowl selections than Bailey are Reggie White, Jerry Rice, Peyton Manning, Tony Gonzalez, Bruce Matthews, Ray Lewis, and Merlin Olson. Each one of those players is either in the Hall of Fame or will be as soon as they’re eligible. Expect the same for Bailey.
To relive some of Bailey’s best moments, check out this highlight reel: