There has been a lot of speculation recently that one of the New Orleans Saints‘ biggest free agent signings might not even make the team. The concern is that the team will opt to cut veteran cornerback Champ Bailey in favor of keeping some younger guys around. While having a young team is never a bad thing, the Saints would eventually regret cutting the future Hall-of-Famer.
To start, Bailey is one of the greatest corners to ever play the game. He is old and has undoubtedly lost a few steps, but his experience and knowledge are unmatched. He doesn’t move like he used to, and he won’t make any extraordinary plays, but he’s the perfect guy to serve as a mentor for this secondary. With all the young talent that the Saints have in their secondary, the only thing that can hurt them is a lack of experience. Bailey would help bridge that gap.
The only reason why the Saints might cut him would be to allow room for up-and-coming stars, such as the undrafted free agent Pierre Warren, who has been making tremendous plays all over the field at training camp. In terms of on-field value, Bailey has much less to offer than these younger guys, but his leadership and experience have to count for something.
Football is a young man’s game, so it’s certainly possible that Bailey is sent packing. All the greats reach a point where they can no longer play at the level they once could and are sometimes replaced by no-name players (Jerry Rice was cut by the 2005 Denver Broncos in favor of Darius Watts). It would be sad to see Bailey go after all these years, and it might be something that Saints would come to regret.