It has recently been reported that the New Orleans Saints have cut veteran cornerback Champ Bailey from their roster. This comes as a bit of a surprise, as many believed Bailey would, at the very least, make the team as an emotional leader. Bailey, 36, did not attract a lot attention during free agency this past offseason. With few team interested in adding a 36-year-old cornerback, Bailey’s NFL career is likely over.
With Keenan Lewis and Patrick Robinson on the roster, becoming a starter for the Saints was going to be a long shot for Bailey. However, aside from Lewis and Robinson, the Saints are relatively weak at cornerback. Rookie cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptiste has plenty of potential, but likely is not ready for an impact role on the defense. Regardless, the Saints found it best for their team to cut Bailey.
Bailey played in just five games for the Denver Broncos this past season, dealing with injury after injury for the large part of the season. While he did record three pass defenses, it had become very clear that Bailey was not the shutdown cornerback he once was. This should come as no surprise, as few defensive backs are capable of playing cornerback into their mid-thirties.
Bailey, who was considered by many to be the best cornerback in the NFL during the early 2000s, has put together a Hall-of-Fame career. Unfortunately, it appears that this career will now come to an end. While there is a chance that another team will sign Bailey, this appears unlikely, closing the door on a prolific 15-year career.