Champ Bailey's decorated career might be coming to an ignominious end.
The New Orleans Saints confirmed Saturday they have released Bailey after an injury-plagued training camp. It's the second time this offseason that Bailey has been released, although the Denver Broncos let go of Bailey in March largely because of his $10 million salary.
Money wasn't the issue in New Orleans. The Saints had financial incentive to keep Bailey after handing him $500,000 guaranteed this offseason. But young players like Brian Dixon outplayed Bailey for a spot. Bailey reportedly looked stiff during practices at camp.
It's possible that Bailey gets another job, but it's more likely that this is it for the 12-time Pro Bowl selection. The ending is rarely easy, even for all-time greats.
Bailey doesn't appear ready for the end just yet, though. Bailey's agent Jack Reale told NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport his client still wants to play.
"Definitely, and he is fully healthy now," Reale said. "He had a plantar problem, which is resolved, but he just missed too much time for the coach's evaluation to be complete and unfortunately in the last two games they didn't throw at him, so he couldn't show his stuff. He is fine."
Bailey will go down as one of the most consistent players of his generation, nearly always a top-five player at his position. He's a near-lock to make it into Canton someday as a Hall of Famer. He has the resume of a player who will get selected for induction on his first ballot.