Feb 2, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin (89) is tackled by Denver Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey (24) during the first quarter in Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Champ Bailey was officially released earlier this morning by the Denver Broncos. Bailey was due a $1M roster bonus on March 15, and the move saves the Broncos $10M in cap space. Bailey played with a nagging foot injury all season which held him to only 5 regular season games. He returned to play in the Super Bowl but was not particularly effective. Bailey did say that he would consider a move to safety, but I don’t think that is necessary.
Corner is one of the hardest positions to transition for college to the NFL. If (read: When) we draft a young corner to start, or at least play a significant amount of snaps, we will basically be throwing him to the wolves with nothing but Eric Weddle to back him up. Enter Champ Bailey.
Bailey is one of the best corners to ever play the game. He averaged over 3 interception per year for 16 years (52 total). Once we saw how Nnamdi Asomugha imploded after he was asked to play zone coverage, it cemented the idea the Bailey was the best corner in the NFL during the early-mid 2000s.
Lets be honest, the 35-year old Bailey would probably be the #1 corner for the Chargers. As depressing as that is, it’s true. But that doesn’t mean he has to be matched up against the top receivers all game. Signing Bailey would be a move to bring in some veteran leadership to coach up young guns at a position that was absolutely horrible this season. As we saw last year, we can’t exactly expect him to be 100% the entire season. But even if he isn’t he is still at Chargers Park, in film sessions, or on the practice field dropping some knowledge on Jason Verrett, Justin Gilbert, or whoever we bring in.
The Charegrs are expected to have around $5M in cap room after their moves this week releasing Leron McClain and Derek Cox, and restructuring Eddie Royal’s deal. After playing only 5 regular season games and a horrible Super Bowl game, Bailey will probably come on the cheap and for only 1-2 years. Plus, Denver always steals our stars, why don’t we get a little petty revenge.
What is the most $$ per year you would be willing to spend for Bailey?