The New Orleans Saints agree to terms on a two-year deal for veteran defensive back Champ Bailey. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport broke the news Friday afternoon and believes that defensive coordinator Rob Ryan won’t have trouble putting him to good use.
The #Saints are signing CB Champ Bailey to a two-year contract, source says. Think Rob Ryan will figure out how to use him best.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 4, 2014
Bailey is a 12-time Pro Bowl defensive back with 699 tackles, 52 interceptions, and seven fumble recoveries over his career. There were concerns that Bailey would have to consider a position change from cornerback to safety since this is the stage in a cornerback’s career that they become more exposed in man coverage. That was certainly true of Bailey during the Super Bowl.
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) April 4, 2014
Bailey went on the record saying he doesn’t plan on moving to safety “anytime soon”. Rob Ryan’s flexible defensive scheme could allow Bailey to continue to play at corner with safety help from Pro Bowler Jairus Byrd and young safety Kenny Vaccaro. Bailey also gives the Saints additional flexibility at the safety position as well.
Rob Ryan is assembling all the pieces of the chessboard to prove that last year’s great defense was not a fluke. The Saints secondary now features two Pro Bowlers in Byrd and Bailey and proven competitors in Kenny Vaccaro and Keenan Lewis.