30 1 LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

KUSA - Denver Broncos general manager John Elway said Thursday the move to release Champ Bailey was a "difficult decision."

The Broncos sent out their official release Thursday saying the cut the 12-time Pro-Bowler who spent the past 10 seasons in Denver.

"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," Elway said in a news release from the team. "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."

Bailey told USA Today on Wednesday that he will look for another team. The 15-yea veteran was set to make $10 million this season with the Broncos, but he struggled with a foot injury most of last season.

Bailey started 212 of his 215 career games and had 983 tackles, 52 interceptions, 235 passes defended and three sacks. He also forced nine fumbles and recovered five fumbles.

"I consider it a privilege to have coached Champ these last three years," Broncos head coach John Fox said in the release. "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."

The Broncos acquired Bailey in 2004 in a trade with Washington, which got Clinton Portis and a second-round draft pick. Bailey was drafted by Washington in 1999 out of Georgia and spent five seasons there.

Autoplay
Show Thumbnails
Show Captions
30 1 LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: http://www.9news.com/story/sports/nfl/denver-broncos/2014/03/06/denver-broncos-champ-bailey-release/6127399/