At this writing, linebacker Boss Bailey's page remains on the Denver Broncos' website -- but that won't be true for long. Yesterday, the team cut him loose. And while that makes sense (he's still rehabbing from the sort of microfracture surgery that makes comebacks slow and difficult), it's still disappointing for fans. Prior to his injury, Boss was among the few Broncos defenders (along with his brother, Champ) to make an impression, and if he was healthy, he'd be precisely the kind of player new coach Josh McDaniels needs to transform the unit from a joke to -- well, if not a force, then at least less of a laughingstock. Now, he'll have the chance to do the same for someone else, although it'll likely take at least a year to find out if he can still play at peak level. But if he's able to return to form, the sight of him in a uniform that's not predominantly orange will definitely sting.
Click "Continue" to read Boss's lengthy -- and soon to be excised -- Broncos bio:
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97 Boss Bailey, Linebacker
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 232 lbs.
Acquired: Unrestriced Free Agent (Detroit), 2008
Pro Year: 7th
Year with Broncos: 2nd
NFL Games Played/Started: 64/57
BAILEY AT A GLANCE:
• A sixth-year linebacker who enters his first season with the Broncos after starting at least 11 games in every year that he played while spending his first five professional seasons with Detroit.
• Owns starting experience as both an outside and middle linebacker during his NFL career.
• Will join his older brother, cornerback Champ Bailey, in becoming the fourth pair of brothers to play for the Broncos in club history, and the two are set to be the third pair to play for the franchise at the same time (first since Dave and Doug Widell, 1990-92).
• Registered a career-high 3.5 sacks along with 74 tackles in 15 games (12 starts) for the Lions during the 2007 season.
• Earned the Lions' nomination for the 2005 Ed Block Courage Award after starting all 11 games played following a successful recovery from a knee injury that kept him off the field in 2004.
• Received all-rookie honors from ESPN.com and Football Digest with the Lions in 2003 when he started all 16 games and registered a personal-best 109 tackles that season.
• Named first-team All-Southeastern Conference as well as a semifinalist for the Butkus and Lombardi Awards as a senior at the University of Georgia.
• Joined the Broncos as an unrestricted free agent on March 6, 2008.
• Selected by Detroit in the second round (34th overall) of the 2003 NFL Draft.
CAREER TRANSACTIONS: Signed by Detroit as a a draft choice 7/24/03; Placed on injured reserve (knee) by Detroit 12/16/04; Placed on injured reserve (ankle) by Detroit 12/16/05; Signed by Denver as an unrestricted free agent 3/6/08.
Quickly: Bailey started six games for the Broncos and ranked fourth on the team with 44 tackles before he was placed on the reserve/injured list on 10/22.
2008: Dressed but did not play (ankle) in the season opener at Oak. (9/8). If anything would have happened to the replacement starter Bailey was available, but Jamie Winborn played the whole game and made six tackles. "He held up out there very well," Bailey said. "I took advantage of it and got me an extra week."... Made his Broncos debut vs. S.D. (9/14) and tied for second on the team with five tackles (his brother, Champ, led with seven). It was the first time he had played alongside Champ in almost a decade (since 1998 when the brothers played at the University of Georgia)... Made nine tackles (5 solo) and had a quarterback pressure vs. N.O. (9/21)...Chipped in nine tackles and a quarterback pressure at K.C. (9/28) and recovered a fumble forced by CB Champ Bailey... Tied a career-high with 13 tackles (10 solo) and added a quarterback hurry vs. T.B. (10/5)... Recorded seven tackles (all solo) vs. Jac. (10/12)... Played just 11 snaps at N.E. (10/20) before injuring his knee. He was placed on the reserve/injured list on 10/22.
2007: Bailey registered a career-high 3.5 sacks (16 yds.) along with 74 tackles (44 solo), one pass breakup, one forced fumble and a personal-best six special-teams stops in 15 games (12 starts) for the Lions... Played at the strongside linebacker position... Registered seven tackles (4 solo) at Oak. (9/9) before totaling eight stops and 1.5 sacks vs. Min. (9/16)... Had a season-high nine tackles (6 solo) and one pass defensed vs. Den. (11/4)... Had two tackles (2 solo) and three special-teams tackles vs. G.B. (11/22)... Declared inactive against Dallas (12/9) due to the flu... Returned to action at S.D. (12/16), recording eight tackles (4 solo)... Notched one sack and one forced fumble as part of a six-tackle (5 solo) effort vs. K.C. (12/23).
2006: Bailey had 85 tackles (51 solo), one sack, three passes defensed and four special-teams tackles in 16 games (12 starts) with Detroit... Contributed at both the outside and middle linebacker positions (8 starts at strongside, 4 starts at middle)... Saw his first career action at middle linebacker vs. Sea. (9/10), coming off the bench to post six tackles and one sack... Added two special-teams tackles at Chi. (9/17)... Made his first start at middle linebacker at Stl. (10/1) and posted eight tackles (2 solo)... Led the Lions with a season-high 11 tackles (10 solo) at Min. (10/8)... Paced the club and tied his season-best tackle total of 11 vs. Buf. (10/15) for his second consecutive double-digit tackle performance.
2005: Bailey was Detroit's nominee for the Ed Block Courage Award after starting all 11 games played and placing third on the club with 75 tackles (48 solo)... Also had one sack (6 yds.), one interception (returned 34 yards for a touchdown), three passes defensed and three special-teams stops... Placed on injured reserve with an ankle injury on Dec. 16... Started the season opener vs. G.B. (9/11) and posted 10 tackles (6 solo)... Added nine stops (6 solo), including one sack (6 yds.), at Chi. (9/18) before pacing the team with 10 tackles (7 solo) at T.B. (10/2)... Returned an interception 34 yards for a score, the second his career, vs. Car. (10/16)... Added eight tackles (7 solo) vs. Ari. (11/13) before leaving the game in the third quarter with an ankle injury... Tried to come back from the ankle injury, playing in two games, before he was placed on injured reserve on Dec. 16.
2004: Bailey did not see any game action due to a knee injury suffered during training camp... Declared inactive for the first 13 games before he was placed on injured reserve on Dec. 16.
2003: Selected by Detroit in the second round (34th overall) of the 2003 NFL Draft, Bailey started all 16 games, posting a career-high 109 tackles (73 solo), 1.5 sacks (9.5 yds.), one interception (-2 yds.), four passes defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery (returned 62 yards for a touchdown)... Received all-rookie honors from ESPN.com and Football Digest while being voted the club's Mel Farr Rookie of the Year... Posted nine tackles (8 solo) and had the first sack of his career (Chris Chandler) at Chi. (10/26)... Shared the team lead with nine tackles (5 solo) while adding a pass breakup and a forced fumble vs. Oak. (11/2)... Put together his best game of the season at Car. (12/21) with a career and team-high 13 tackles (11 solo) along with a 62-yard fumble return for a touchdown that marked his first career score... Earned Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week honors for his efforts against the Panthers, and the 13 tackles put him over 100 for the season... Posted his first career interception and made six tackles (5 solo) vs. Stl. (12/28) in the season finale.
COLLEGE: Bailey was a three-year starter at the University of Georgia, where he recorded 266 tackles (151 solo), 7.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, two interceptions, 11 pass breakups and three blocked kicks in 48 career games (35 starts)... Received first-team All-Southeastern Conference honors as a senior while also being named a semifinalist for the Butkus and Lombardi Awards that year, helping Georgia to victories in the SEC Championship Game and Sugar Bowl... Started every game at strongside outside linebacker as a senior, leading the team with a career-high 114 tackles (63 solo) and posting six sacks... Named second-team All-SEC in 2001... Did not play in 2000 after injuring his knee on the opening kickoff of season opener (received a redshirt year).
PERSONAL: Bailey earned honorable mention All-America honors from USA Today as a senior at Charlton County High School in Folkston, Ga.... Earned several prep honors, including being named to the Atlanta Journal Constitution's Top 50 in Georgia team... Also saw time at quarterback and punter in addition to his work on the defensive side of the ball... Posted 143 tackles, three sacks, four interceptions, 1,079 rushing yards, 23 rushing touchdowns, 1,243 passing yards and 16 passing touchdowns... Was a track and field standout as he reached the 1996 Class A State Championships in the 110-meter hurdles and received the track squad's Sprint Award... Brother, Champ, is in his fifth season playing cornerback for the Broncos... Boss and his wife, Amber, are the parents of four children--Kameron, Khalil and twins Kendall and Kayden... Rodney Bailey, who was nicknamed Boss by his grandmother, was born on Oct. 14, 1979, in Folkston, Ga.