Anyone who thinks Denver Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey is no longer a great player — just know that the players in the NFL disagree with you. Bailey was voted by the players as the 53rd best player of 2013 on NFL Network‘s list of the top 100 players.
There’s no question that Bailey is not the player he was five or six years ago, but he is still one on the better cornerbacks in the league. As for the ranking of No. 53, that’s probably about right.
The last memories of Bailey are of him having a rough day in the playoff loss to the Baltimore Ravens, and there are more than a few who believe that single game represented the end of Bailey as a great player. That’s not only wrong, it’s also unfair — Bailey had a bad day at the wrong time, as did many other players that day.
Bailey had one of his best seasons in recent years in 2012, and there’s no reason to think that won’t continue in 2013. There has been talk of moving him to safety, but that’s premature; if the Broncos move him to safety, then they have a huge hole a cornerback.
I’ve got news for anyone who is for a move like this: there’s no cornerback on the market who is in the same class as Bailey.
When asked about safety Rahim Moore, Bailey talked about the fact that Moore had a very good season and you don’t throw away that season because of one game. That same standard should apply to Bailey who, according to Pro Football Focus, is part of the best cornerback tandem in the league.
The other player in that tandem is third-year player, Chris Harris. Pro Football Focus uses a variety of statistics to rank each tandem of cornerbacks.
The Broncos are built to win now, and Bailey is still one of the keys to getting that done. Has he lost a step? Yes. Is he the same player he was at 25? No — but he is still one of the best cornerbacks in football.
If you don’t believe me, just ask the players.
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