The Broncos have released cornerback Champ Bailey.
It was a move the team had to make: Bailey was hurt most of last year, and when he wasn't, he was a shadow of his formerly great self -- plus, the decision saved the squad $10 million. And yet, there's no joy in seeing a surefire Hall of Famer be shown the door in this manner, as is clear from plenty of his teammates, who took to Twitter to share their emotions and pay tribute to one of the best athletes to ever wear Broncos orange. See our favorite tweets from players below.
Blessed to be able lineup opposite Champ and learn from a Great . Will def be missed . http://t.co/shShhj6PtX
— Chris Harris (@ChrisHarrisJr) March 6, 2014
— Danny Trevathan (@Grindin_59) March 6, 2014
5 years with Champ! Can't believe 1 of the greatest is no longer here. Learned more than u can imagine from him. More than a teammate 4 sure
— David BRUTON JR. (@D_Brut30) March 6, 2014
It was an honor to have played with Champ. He will be missed.
— Ben Garland (@BenGarland63) March 6, 2014
Continue to see more Twitter tributes to Champ Bailey from his former Broncos teammates.
Been a honor to be able to say I went head to head with this man here. Will be missed for sure... pic.twitter.com/XnjbSjGfEu
— Demaryius Thomas (@DemaryiusT) March 6, 2014
I'll never forget that speech champ gave us before the Super Bowl.. He was in tears... Salute to one of the Greatest
— Brandon Marshall (@BMarshh54) March 6, 2014
I didnt realize today would be the last day i see Champ at the facility.. My heart hurts.. Class act individual
— Gerell Robinson (@G_Rob10) March 6, 2014
I swear he made me better pic.twitter.com/GGvCcAP2UM
— Dominique (@drc941) March 6, 2014
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More from our Denver Blogs archive circa February 2011: "John Elway's tweets give Broncos Nation hope a Champ Bailey contract deal will happen."