Champ Bailey leads Broncos’ 2019 HOF nominations

Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey in 2012. Credit: Craig Hawkins

Former cornerback Champ Bailey leads the Denver Broncos’ nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 2019 class.

The former first-round pick was named as one of 102 modern-era nominees for the 2019 class, alongside 13 other former Broncos.

Steve Atwater, John Lynch, Karl Mecklenburg, and Dennis Smith are joined by wide receiver Rod Smith, running back Curtis Portis, defensive ends Neil Smith and Simeon Rice, kicker Jason Elam, cornerback Ty Law, and offensive linemen Tom Nalen and Chris Hinton, the latter drafted by the Broncos in 1983 but then shipped to Baltimore before playing a game as part of the trade for John Elway.

Former head coach Dan Reeves is also among the nominees.

Bailey, a first-time candidate, spent 10 seasons in Denver after playing his first five seasons in the league with Washington.

He played 215 games in his career, racking up 52 interceptions, four touchdowns, 142 passes defended, nine forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries, and 909 combined tackles.

His only Super Bowl appearance came in 2013, which was his final season in the league.

After his release from the Broncos, Bailey spent the summer of 2014 in New Orleans after signing a two-year deal, but failed to make the team and signed a one-day contract to retire as a Bronco in October 2014.

Widely regarded as a first-ballot Hall of Famer, Bailey is a 12-time Pro Bowler, and first-team All-Pro in his first three seasons in Denver from 2004-2006, also leading the league in interceptions in 2006.

Only five modern-era nominees can be elected to the Hall of Fame in 2019, with the long list cut to 25 in November, before the 15 finalists named in January are put to a vote on the eve of Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta.

After a series of snubs, the Broncos have enjoyed recent success with the Hall of Fame following the inductions of running back Terrell Davis in 2017 and safety Brian Dawkins in 2018.

The Broncos will also hope owner Pat Bowlen will finally be enshrined in 2019 after he was named as one of the two finalists in the contributor category.

Other first-time nominees include linebacker London Fletcher, safety Ed Reed, and tight end Tony Gonzalez.

The nominees are made up of 47 offensive players, 39 defensive players, five special teams players, and 11 coaches.

About Paul Thomas 187 Articles
Paul is one of Broncos Europe's main contributors, based in London, England. When not providing us with the latest Denver Broncos news, he can be found in a sports bar watching any sport. A long-time Broncos fan, he tries to forget many of the bad pre-Manning years.

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