The Denver Broncos say they have released cornerback Champ Bailey after 10 seasons with the team.
His release Thursday was a cost-cutting move, with the 12-time Pro Bowler scheduled to make around $10 million next season.
Broncos boss John Elway called the decision "difficult." He added that Bailey's "among the best cornerbacks to ever play the game and one of the finest players in the history of the Broncos."
Bailey has been a fan favorite since his arrival in the Mile High City in 2004, when he was acquired from Washington. The 15-year veteran mentored many teammates, teaching them the tricks of the cornerback trade.
Denver coach John Fox said he considered it a "privilege to have coached Champ."
Bailey's 52 interceptions are the most among active cornerbacks.