After the Denver Broncos loss to the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Divisional Round, many were left wondering if CB Champ Bailey would be brought back for the 2013 season. Of course Bailey was torched a couple of times by speedy Baltimore receiver Torrey Smith. We all saw that Champ’s coverage lacked in the first half, and was most likely one of the top reasons why the Broncos did not advance to the championship game against the New England Patriots..
But remember also that Bailey held Smith in the second half, and was much better in coverage after he made his adjustments. Remember also that the Broncos cornerback mix of Bailey, Chris Harris and Tony Carter was also the best in the game for the 2012 NFL season. They only allowed 929 yards to opposing receivers, and Bailey remained a Pro Bowler, even in his 14th season, notching 66 tackles and two interceptions.
In 2013, the Broncos would benefit from having a veteran corner such as Champ in the locker room, as well as on the field. Bailey is set to make $10.5M this year, with a base of $9.5M. Mike Klis of the Denver Post stated on twitter that Bailey will be a Bronco in 2013. He was also the one who claimed last year that the Broncos had no interest in Peyton Manning before backtracking on that statement the following day.
No matter what, Broncos fans have to be pleased with the progression of Harris and Carter as corners, but a team can never have enough good defensive backs on their roster. I would prefer to keep Bailey than give a corner like Darrelle Revis the money, and the New York Jets the draft picks to get him because of the headaches and injury concerns that come along with him.
Bailey, heading into his 10th season with the Broncos, and 15th overall, is still considered one of the better corners in the league, and it will be up to Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio and Head Coach John Fox not to put him into the same predicament without help as they allowed in the playoff game against the Ravens.
I would prefer to see the Broncos spend their money on a safety, Mike linebacker, or a top flight running back instead of giving up on Bailey. Anyone that feels as if Bailey is “washed up” simply has not had the chance to watch Bailey from game to game and understand the role he plays and all that he does for that defense. Here’s hoping Vice President of football operations John Elway can have another solid draft and free agency period that can once again advance this Broncos squad towards their goal: Super Bowl XLVIII.