Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Denver Broncos Bring Back Champ Bailey with Four-Year Deal: Smart Move??

Champ Bailey has decided to stay in Denver by signing a four-year deal reportedly worth $43 million, with a guaranteed $11 million in 2011, according to The Denver Post.
The 10-time Pro Bowler, who turns 33 in June, just completed his 12th NFL season, his seventh with the Denver Broncos.
It's clear that Bailey can still play his position well and keep up with the young receivers of the league, but signing him to a brand new four-year deal at his age doesn't seem like a very good idea for this organization.
Yes, it's true that his $15 million per year is below the average for an elite cornerback in the NFL and his $11 million guaranteed is $2 million less than this past season's pay, but his numbers have clearly taken a hit over the last couple of years, and I don't know if he will be able to keep it up for a full four seasons.

If I was Denver, why not save that money and end the Bailey era before he hits the wall completely?
His 41 tackles were a career-low, and in 15 games he picked off just two passes, two below his average (interceptions per season).
Denver's defense was eighth-worst in passing defense and allowed 26 touchdowns through the air last season. Overall, Denver's defense was porous (also allowed most points, and second-most rushing yards), so it's clear that they have more troubles than just the secondary.
Perhaps they should've saved some of that money to address more than one need at one time? Just a thought.
I really thought going after a smaller name (i.e. Antonio Cromartie or Ike Taylor) for less money would have been just as affective as signing a soon-to-be 33-year old to a four-year deal.
Another thought that popped in to my mind after hearing of the deal is, why did Bailey choose to return to the rebuilding Broncos when he likely would have received offers from contenders such as Baltimore and New England.
Questions surrounding both sides of the deal have popped in my head, but the key here is that Bailey has shown confidence in the changes that have been made from the top to the very bottom of this proud franchise.
Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

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