NEW YORK -- Champ Bailey is one of the greatest players of his generation and one of the most decorated NFL players of all time who doesn't own a Super Bowl ring.
After an injury-plagued season that limited Bailey to just three starts, the natural question was waiting for the Denver Broncos cornerback as he landed in New Jersey for his first Super Bowl: Could he retire after the big game?
"I'm not really thinking about retiring," Bailey said. "All I'm thinking about is winning (and) doing what I need to do to win the game."
Bailey didn't exactly shut the door on the possibility.
"After the game, we'll talk about that," he said.
Only Tony Gonzalez has been to the Pro Bowl more times without reaching the Super Bowl. Heck, just two defensive players in NFL history have been to more Pro Bowls than Bailey's 12 berths (Reggie White and Merlin Olsen). This is a man with a proud pedigree that wasn't able to play up to his standard for most of this season.
Around The League's intrepid Dan Hanzus was on the scene and asked Bailey if he ever doubted that he would even make it back to the field after missing so much time with a foot injury.
"I never thought there'd be a moment where I thought I didn't get back," Bailey said, before admitting it took him longer than he expected to return to the field this year.
After playing 95 percent of the Broncos' snaps in the AFC title game, Bailey appears to be peaking at the right time.
"I don't think anyone on any roster is 100 percent," Bailey said. "My foot feels good."
Bailey will be tested on Super Bowl Sunday. He's no longer the best cornerback on the roster (that's Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie) and Seattle might see if Bailey can handle the speed of Golden Tate or Percy Harvin.
If Bailey plays well in a winning performance, he could join the list of NFL legends like Otto Graham, John Elway, Ray Lewis and Bill Walsh who retired after a Super Bowl triumph.
*We handed out awards for the 2014 coaching class and talked all the latest headlines in the latest "Around The League Podcast." *