He was a leader and a soldier on the football field. A captain who deserved every star on his jersey.
He's always been the type of player who approached the game with class. He doesn't brag. He doesn't yell at camera crews after the game to tell them how great he is. He just quietly, almost casually, shuts down the best wide receiver in the game, every game.
When the Broncos released Bailey, it was truly the dark side of the salary cap era, of free agency—not being able to keep a fan favorite, a hero who has been in the city for a decade, because of cap space.
It was also due to Father Time, who even Bailey has not been able to outrun.
However, it is not time to dwell on what happened or why, but to look back at the 10 years given to fans in Denver by one of the greatest players to ever wear the orange and blue. He's made many insane plays over the years, but these five interceptions stand out.
When looking at the top interceptions, there are three main points that have to be addressed:
1. Impact on the game.
A pick in a playoff game automatically gets a bit more weight than one in a regular-season game. Momentum swings and the overall impact that the interception had on that specific game at that moment play a big part. The time left in the game also has to be considered.
2. Who it was against.
3. The eye test.
This is the catch-all. If it just jumps off the screen—due to athleticism, a crazy bounce, etc.—it can make the cut. If it makes you stand up and yell and spill your nachos, that's worth something.
With that, let's celebrate 10 years of watching Champ Bailey grace the field in Denver. The impact that No. 24 had on the city was undeniable, and it was a thing of beauty to watch.