A report by NFL insider, Jason La Confora has some Denver Broncos’ fans in a panic and others jumping for joy. La Confora, in a column, said that Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey could be released by the team in a salary cap move.
His reasoning is two-fold with the first of those reasons being Bailey’s play in the loss to the Baltimore Ravens. There’s no way to sugar coat it, he did not play well but you don’t make those kinds of moves based on one bad game. If the Broncos operated that way, they would have released Peyton Manning after the home loss to the Houston Texans. Bailey is not the player he was but he had a very good season, probably his best in the past three or four years. He is going to get beat more than he did when he was 25, but Bailey is still an above average corner in the NFL.
The second reason La Confora gives as a reason for releasing Bailey is the emergence of young cornerbacks, Chris Harris and Tony Carter. Both Harris and Carter had very good seasons, and are the Broncos’ cornerbacks of the future but teams need more than two. The NFL is now a wide open league that features passing; the more cornerbacks a team has, the better. Releasing Bailey weakens the secondary in a pass happy league, not a good idea.
At some point, Bailey will probably make the move to free safety to finish his career but not yet. It is possible that the Broncos could ask Bailey to restructure his contract in an effort to free up more money to pursue free agents, but releasing him is not going to happen. For what it’s worth, I think Bailey would be open to restructuring if it meant improving the team as a whole. He has done everything in this league but win a championship, that is his only goal remaining.
At some point, it will be time to do something with Bailey but we are not there yet.
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