|Born:||June 22, 1978|
Fort Campbell, Kentucky
|Height:||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Weight:||192 lb (87 kg)|
|High school:||Charlton County|
|NFL Draft:||1999 / Round: 1 / Pick: 7|
|* Offseason and/or practice squad member only|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at NFL.com · PFR|
Roland "Champ" Bailey Jr. (born June 22, 1978) is an American former professional football player who was a cornerback in the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the Georgia Bulldogs, where he earned consensus All-American honors, and was drafted by the Washington Redskins in the first round of the 1999 NFL Draft.
In 2004, Bailey was traded to the Denver Broncos, where he played for ten seasons until he was released in early 2014, following the Broncos' Super Bowl XLVIII loss. Bailey signed by the New Orleans Saints shortly afterward but was released before the start of the regular season. In October 2014, Bailey announced his retirement from the NFL after 15 seasons. He was selected to 12 Pro Bowls in his career, the most ever for a cornerback. He holds the current NFL record for most passes defended, with 203. In 2019, he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. Bailey is widely considered one of the greatest cornerbacks in NFL history and "the top cornerback of his era."
Bailey was born in Fort Campbell, Kentucky and grew up in Folkston, Georgia, where he was a three-sport athlete (football, basketball, track) at Charlton County High School. His two brothers, Ronald and Boss Bailey, also played football at Charlton County and the University of Georgia. Champ's first two seasons at Georgia overlapped with Ronald's last two seasons; Champ then played his final season alongside Boss. Ronald went on to sign with the NFL's Dallas Cowboys but suffered a career-ending injury. Boss played linebacker in the NFL for the Detroit Lions from 2003 to 2007, then joined Champ on the Denver Broncos in 2008.
Notable statistics from Bailey's Charlton County Indians High School career: Total rushing yards 3573, 58 rushing touchdowns, with 13 100-yard games. He passed for 1,211 yards on 74 completions. On defense/special teams he caught 8 interceptions, had 26 KR for 731 yards, 22 PR for 318 yards. His total offensive yardage was 5,855 with 394 points scored. He still holds school records for season rushing yards with 1,858, season rushing TDs with 28, season scoring with 180, single-game rushing with 417 yards, and tied the record for single-game rushing TDs which has stood since 1953 (He is also tied with the same person from 1953 for 3rd with 5).
Bailey received an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Georgia, where he played for the Georgia Bulldogs football team from 1996 to 1998. He was regarded as one of college football's greatest multiple threats (offense, defense, and special teams) in his three seasons as a Bulldog. In his final year at Georgia, he registered 52 tackles (four for losses), three interceptions, seven passes deflected, 47 catches for 744 yards (15.8 avg.), five touchdowns, 84 yards rushing on 16 carries, 12 kickoff returns for 261 yards and four punt returns for 49 yards. He averaged 103.5 all-purpose yards per game and logged 957 plays (547 defense, 301 offense, and 109 special teams) on the way to earning consensus first-team All-America and first-team All-Southeastern Conference honors and claiming the Bronko Nagurski Trophy as the nation's top defensive player. Against the Virginia Cavaliers in the Peach Bowl, he caught 3 passes for 73 yards, including a 14-yard touchdown, rushed 3 times for 9 yards, returned 5 kickoffs for 104 yards, returned a punt 12 yards, and posted 2 tackles and 1 pass defended at cornerback. In 3 years at Georgia, he played 33 games (24 starts) and recorded 147 total tackles, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble, eight interceptions and 27 passes defended. He was an All-SEC first-team selection as a sophomore, starting every game at left cornerback and one game at wide receiver.
Bailey was also a standout track and field athlete at Georgia; he ran the 55 meters and 60 meters, recording personal bests of 6.35 seconds and 6.85 seconds, respectively. He also competed in long jump and triple jump.
Bailey set a school indoor long jump record in 1998 of 7.89 meters (25 ft 11 in) to finish third at the SEC Indoor Track and Field Championships.
Bailey was drafted with the seventh overall pick in the first round of the 1999 NFL Draft by the Redskins. He was the first ever drafted player to come from his hometown of Folkston, Georgia.
|Height||Weight||Arm length||Hand span||40-yard dash||10-yard split||20-yard split||20-yard shuttle||Vertical jump||Broad jump|
|5 ft 11+3⁄4 in
|4.28 s||1.48 s||2.49 s||3.79 s||37.0 in
|10 ft 1 in|
|All values from NFL Combine and Georgia Pro Day|
On July 24, 1999, Bailey signed a 5-year, $12 million contract including a $2 million signing bonus. Bailey quickly established a reputation as one of the league's best defensive backs. He was a large presence on the Redskins defense and benefited from time spent with eventual Hall of Fame cornerback teammates Deion Sanders and Darrell Green. After the 2003 season, Bailey's contract with the Redskins expired and he threatened to boycott training camp if the club exercised the franchise tag. In a surprising move, the Redskins gave Bailey permission to seek a trade.
Prior to the 2004 season, Bailey was traded to Denver along with a second-round draft pick for Clinton Portis.
On September 12, 2004, during the NFL's opening Sunday Night Football game of the season, Bailey intercepted his first pass as a Denver Bronco.
On January 14, 2006, in a divisional playoff game against the New England Patriots, he broke the record for the longest non-scoring play in NFL history at the time. With the Patriots near the goal line, he intercepted a pass from quarterback Tom Brady in the end zone and returned it 100 yards to the New England one-yard line before he was tackled by New England's Benjamin Watson.
In 2006, Bailey had 10 interceptions (tied for best in the NFL with Patriots cornerback Asante Samuel) and did not give up a touchdown during the season. Bailey, San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson and Miami Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor were unanimous choices for the NFL All-Pro team. Following the season's conclusion, Bailey finished second in voting for NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
In 2009, Bailey did not allow a touchdown in 80 passes thrown his way that year, played on 98% of the snaps and remained one of the best-tackling cornerbacks in the game.
On September 15, 2009, Bailey was chosen for the Broncos 50th Anniversary team by the Denver community. This team was honored during the halftime show of the Legacy game versus the Patriots on October 11.
In 2010, Bailey matched up against some of the NFL's best wideouts. He held Dwayne Bowe to no catches on 2 targets. The Arizona Cardinals only completed 3 passes on him for 19 yards in a game where he matched up with Larry Fitzgerald. Bailey was selected to play in his record-breaking 10th Pro Bowl. No cornerback in NFL history has been to more.
It was announced on February 22, 2011 by the Broncos vice president of football operations, John Elway, that Bailey was re-signed to a 4-year contract.
During the 2012 offseason, Bailey was named the 46th-best player in the NFL by the league's network, NFL Network.
In 2012, Bailey was named an All-Pro for the 7th time of his career and was selected to the 2013 Pro Bowl. The Pro Bowl selection was his 12th, extending the record he set for trips by a cornerback, and tied the record for most Pro Bowls played, along with Randall McDaniel and Will Shields.
During the 2013 offseason, Bailey was named the 53rd-best player in the NFL by his peers on the league's network, NFL Network.
During the course of the 2013 season, Bailey was limited to a career-low 5 games with a foot injury; however, Bailey returned in time for the playoffs and held his own when fellow cornerback, Chris Harris, was ruled out for the remainder of the season after a torn ACL. Bailey played in his first Super Bowl at Super Bowl XLVIII in which he had 4 tackles in a 43–8 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
On March 6, 2014, the Denver Broncos released Bailey.
On April 4, 2014, Champ Bailey signed a two-year, $7 million contract with the New Orleans Saints. Bailey failed to make the final roster and was released by the team on August 30, 2014.
Bailey announced his retirement from professional football on October 18, 2014. On November 14, 2014, it was announced that Bailey would sign a one-day contract with Denver to allow him to officially retire as a Bronco.
On February 2, 2019, Bailey was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. He was enshrined on August 3, 2019, during a ceremony in Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.
Bailey married his wife, Jessica, at the Pelican Hill resort in Newport Beach, California in 2014.