As teams prepare for the opening ring of free agency in two days, the rumor mills are churning loudly. The latest according to a report by Chris McPherson of the Eagles official team site, who credits a report on Bleacher Report, is an apparent interest in former Denver Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey.
Bailey, a 16-year NFL veteran, spent the past 10 seasons in Denver prior to his release just three days ago. Bailey was set to make a $1 million bonus and by releasing him Denver saved $10 million in cap space.
The potential Philadelphia-Bailey pairing started to grow legs after Bailey’s comments regarding his willingness to change over to the safety position. Philadelphia was the worst defense against the pass in 2013 giving up 289.8 yards a game. After last seasons struggles it’s clear head coach Chip Kelly and defensive coordinator Bill Davis need to sign some impact talent in the secondary, and Bailey certainly has that resume with 909 tackles (combined), 52 interceptions, and nine forced fumbles in his career.
As renown as his career has been over the better part of two decades, there are two primary concerns that surround Bailey as an option. First is his age and the obvious concerns around how much longer he will be able to play. That brings me to the second concern which is his foot injury that forced him to miss six weeks last season.
But the one thing that simply cannot be denied is the influence and positive impact he would have within the Eagles locker room. Furthermore, with Nate Allen, Kurt Coleman, and Colt Anderson all set to become free agents and the still unknown surrounding Earl Wolfe, Philadelphia would offer Bailey the opportunity to be a walk-in starter at safety.
Bailey is a 12-time Pro Bowl and three-time first-team All-Pro selection, and future Hall of Fame selection.
No disrespect to Champ, but I just have this lingering issue with veteran players and the No. 24 in Philly.