Jan 12, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey (24) lines up during the first quarter of the AFC divisional round playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens at Sports Authority Field. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey made a visit to New Orleans Tuesday afternoon, according to sources. Saints CB Keenan Lewis posted a picture on Instagram today of him and Bailey hanging out at the team’s training facility. Could Bailey be the guy the Saints are looking for to fill that big hole in the secondary left by Jabari Greer?
Adding leadership to the Saints’ defense would be huge, especially with the departure of veterans like Jonathan Vilma, Roman Harper and Will Smith. Since debuting in 1999 for the Washington Redskins, Champ has been selected to the Pro Bowl 12 times (an all-time high for cornerbacks) and has been an All-Pro seven times. During his career with the Redskins and Broncos, Bailey has racked up 925 tackles, 3 sacks, 203 passes defended, 52 interceptions, 9 forced fumbles and 4 touchdowns.
He is certainly one of the greatest to ever play his position, and while he may have lost a step or two with aging, Bailey would still be an incredible addition to any team in the NFL. The loss of CB Jabari Greer definitely calls for action. I was hoping the Black and Gold would pursue a corner in first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, but going after hardcore experience like Bailey could be the answer. Look what happened when the Saints snagged up the aging Darren Sharper; they were a turnover machine and went on to win the Super Bowl.
Champ Bailey’s presence could help the younger corners like Patrick Robinson and Corey White mature into better players. White and Robinson, in my mind, are not yet starting material. They are strictly nickel and dime options, but Bailey can assist in breeding them into starters for the near future. Any team would be lucky to have such a weathered athlete present in their locker room. It will be interesting to see if the New Orleans Saints decide to pursue on of the all-time greats.
The Saints have also resigned linebacker Parys Haralson to a one-year deal, sources say. When healthy, Haralson is a threat to opposing quarterbacks. He fits well into Rob Ryan’s aggressive-style defense. Good move by New Orleans to keep him wearing the black and gold.