The New Orleans Saints and 12-time Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey reached a two-year deal Friday afternoon, according to Jim Corbett of USA TODAY Sports. Bailey brings immediate veteran leadership to the Saints’ locker room. He may have lost a step or two, but he still has a little something left in the tank.
During his extensive career with the Washington Redskins and Denver Broncos, Bailey accumulated 925 tackles, 52 interception, 203 passes defended, nine forced fumbles and four touchdowns. Those are staggering numbers for one of the all-time greats, but will that ability transfer over to his new team?
Some people may be skeptical of his age, but with age, comes experience. Darren Sharper was acquired by the Saints at the age of 34 and helped lead New Orleans to their first Super Bowl after having a career year. Bailey will be 36 by the time the 2014 season kicks off. Injury has been a representative of the cornerback’s health in recent past, but his defensive management can help mold some of the younger guys (Corey White and Patrick Robinson) into better players.
It will be interesting to see the Saints’ secondary go to work in 2014. Keenan Lewis, Kenny Vaccaro, Jairus Byrd and Bailey? Not a bad combination. Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan has a plan for Champ; opposing defenses better beware.