Champ Bailey

Champ Bailey To Retire As Bronco

NOVEMBER 14: Bailey will sign a one-day contract with Denver and retire as a Bronco on Tuesday, according to the team’s VP of public relations Patrick Smyth, who tweets that there will be an afternoon press conference to make the announcement.

OCTOBER 28: Despite receiving interest from NFL teams, veteran cornerback Champ Bailey has decided to end his playing career, according to agent Jack Reale (Twitter link via’s Adam Schefter). Bailey, who last spent time with the Saints, “has some outstanding opportunities that he’s going to pursue” now that he’s retiring from the NFL, says Reale (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun).Champ Bailey

Bailey, who turned 36 this summer, appeared in just five regular season games in 2013 due to a foot injury, and his exorbitant cap hit made him a cap casualty for the AFC champion Broncos. In his last healthy season (2012), Bailey grabbed a pair of interceptions and racked up 66 tackles. His combination of positive grades against the run and in pass coverage resulted in a top-10 rank at cornerback in ’12, according to Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required).

However, even after signing a deal with the Saints that included $500K in guaranteed money, Bailey was unable to secure a spot on the team’s 53-man roster. The 12-time Pro Bowler had indicated he’d be willing to play safety in addition to or instead of cornerback, but that may not have been a smooth transition at age 36, and he’s not a special-teams contributor, so New Orleans opted for more versatile options instead.

While he didn’t start the season on a roster, Bailey had been receiving interest in recent weeks. Per Schefter (via Twitter), Reale indicated that at least two playoff contenders were eyeing his client, and one of those was likely the Ravens, whose interest we heard about a couple weeks ago. Perhaps the other club was the Lions, who worked out Bailey back in September.

Assuming Bailey doesn’t come out of retirement at any point and has indeed played his last NFL snap, it should just be a matter of time until he’s inducted into the Hall of Fame. In addition to his 12 Pro Bowl berths, Bailey racked up 52 interceptions during a 15-year career that saw him spend five seasons in Washington and 10 in Denver. His most impressive stretch came with the Broncos in 2005 and 2006, when he grabbed 18 total INTs in two seasons, returning three of them for touchdowns.

Bailey will be eligible for Hall of Fame induction in 2019.

Ravens Maintain Interest In Champ Bailey

Defensive back Champ Bailey worked out for the Ravens last week, and while Baltimore chose not to sign Bailey at that point, the team hasn’t ruled out the possibility of bringing aboard the veteran free agent. A league source tells Mike Preston of the Baltimore Sun that the Ravens still have interest in Bailey, and have maintained contact with him since last week’s meeting.

Jimmy Smith has played very well at right cornerback this year for the Ravens, and Lardarius Webb has held his own on the other side since returning to regular action in Week 5. However, with Asa Jackson having been placed on injured reserve with the designation to return, Baltimore doesn’t necessarily have regular, reliable third and fourth corners at the moment. As Preston writes, a veteran presence in a secondary that “lacks communication” at times could be useful, even if Bailey isn’t the same sort of difference-maker he once was.

Bailey, 36, had been expected to contribute in New Orleans after signing with the Saints in the offseason, but he was a surprise roster casualty in the preseason, with the team eating some guaranteed money to let him go. Since then, Bailey has worked out for the Lions and Ravens, and has been linked to a handful of other teams in need of secondary help, though most of those connections have been merely speculation.

According to Preston, the Ravens continue to keep an eye on several free agent defensive backs that could help the team at some point this season, but Bailey is “high on the list.”

Extra Points: Megatron, Peterson, Bailey

Dodger Stadium is in play as a potential temporary venue for an NFL team moving to Los Angeles, according to Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times (on Twitter). Hopefully, whatever team moves there will fare better than the Dodgers did tonight. Tonight’s look around the league..

  • Calvin Johnson carries a cap number of more than $20MM into the next league year and given his recent health trouble, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk suggests that the Lions could move on from him after this season or next. The fact that Detroit considered trading up for Sammy Watkins or Mike Evans and ultimately decided to use that pick on tight end Eric Ebron suggests that the Lions are at least considering the wisdom of reallocating their dollars, Florio writes.
  • A source with knowledge of the situation tells Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk that Vikings running back Adrian Peterson hopes to emerge from court tomorrow with a December 1st trial date. If he goes to trial on December 1 and is acquitted that week, he could theoretically return to action on December 7, when the Vikings take on the Jets.
  • The Ravens tried out veteran cornerback Champ Bailey, a league source tells Field Yates of (on Twitter). Bailey recently said that he was willing to play nickel or safety if it meant getting back in the NFL. Meanwhile, on the D-line, the Ravens expect to be without Chris Canty for three weeks following a procedure to alleviate swelling in his wrist, tweets Jason La Canfora of
  • The Bengals worked out linebackers Adrian Robinson and Yawin Smallwood today, a source tells Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post. Robinson, who originally signed with the Steelers as a UDFA, also had stints with the Chargers, Eagles, and Redskins.
  • Linebacker Kevin Reddick is available after being waived by the Chargers and Vic Tafur of The San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter links) could see the Raiders dropping the newly-signed Ray Ray Armstrong in favor of him. The Raiders were fans of the UNC product at last year’s Senior Bowl.
  • The Vikings cut Mistral Raymond from their injured reserve, according to Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun (on Twitter).
  • Somewhat surprisingly, the Raiders were the only team to put in a claim on wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins, according to Field Yates of (on Twitter).
  • Talk of a new stadium and an NFL team coming to Los Angeles should scare the Chargers, writes U-T San Diego’s Kevin Acee. Both the Rams and Raiders could make a play to return to their one-time home and that would hurt the Bolts’ bottom line.

Colts Notes: Hamilton, Bailey, Bowen

Every time Andrew Luck turns around and hands the ball off to a running back, Colts’ fans take to the internet to demand that offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton’s job. Trent Richardson‘s struggles and the team’s 0-2 start to the season only added to the anti-Hamilton bandwagon. Mike Freeman of ESPN thinks that after the Colts put a huge number on the board against the lowly Jaguars, Hamilton’s job is safe. The team is ranked in the top three in the league in total yards, passing yards, and points per game. Here are some other notes from the Colts:

  • In the mailbag, Freeman writes that Champ Bailey is not an option at safety due to his declined play at 36 years old. He also addresses the team’s decision to keep Khaled Holmes out of the starting lineup despite being healthy, in order to keep continuity with that unit.
  • One of the biggest surprises of the season so far has been the effectiveness of a much maligned offensive line for the team, wrote Kevin Bowen of earlier this week. Rather than being a weakness, Bowen sees them as being among the NFL’s best through three weeks.
  • Bowen also compiled some quotes from both coordinators, Hamilton and defensive coordinator Greg Manusky, as well as an injury report going into this weekend’s matchup against the Titans.
  • Finally from Bowen, he grabbed a number of quotes from head coach Chuck Pagano regarding the rotation at running back, the offensive line, and many other topics.

Lions Notes: Tate, Fauria, Bailey, Jones

As the Lions and Jets prepare to battle this Sunday, a huge factor in the matchup could come to a decision made much earlier this offseason. Both teams entered the offseason with a very similar needs, namely cornerback and wide receiver. While each team elected to more or less ignore their cornerback problem, both made big splashes at receiver. Eric Decker was thought to be the top pass catcher on the market, but it was the Lions who struck a deal first, electing to sign Golden Tate away from the Seahawks. Head coach Jim Caldwell notes that Tate was their first choice from the beginning, reports Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.

“I can tell you that Golden was our prime target and we’re glad he’s here,” said Caldwell. “Decker obviously is a fine football player and does a lot of things extremely well.”

Decker is questionable for Sunday, but expects to play. reports Brian Costello of the New York Post.

Here are some other notes as we draw closer to Lions vs. Jets at MetLife Stadium Sunday:

  • While both teams addressed receivers in the offseason, they both failed to improve their situations at cornerback. Each team boasts a top end run defense, with a shaky secondary susceptible to big plays downfield. While answering fan questions on Twitter, Michael Rothstein of ESPN was asked about cornerback Champ Bailey‘s status as a free agent. Both the Jets and Lions could use help at the position, but neither has had any concrete connection to Bailey in 2014. Rothstein believes this could be an indication that Bailey may not have anything left in the tank (via Twitter).
  • Lions’ tight end Joseph Fauria injured his ankle on Wednesday, leaving the team with only two players at the position on the active roster. While Brandon Pettigrew and Eric Ebron should be able to cover for Fauria’s minimal production, it could change the way the team attacks the Jets’ defense. The team will be forced to use more three wide receiver sets unless they decide to promote tight end Jordan Thompson or fullback Emil Igwenagu, who has played tight end, writes Rothstein. They could also consider increased roles for fullbacks Jed Collins and Montell Owens.
  • The Lions run defense has been great through three games, with defensive linemen Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley getting most of the credit. However, Jason Jones has been a huge part of the team’s success, writes Mike O’Hara in his game preview for

AFC West Notes: Raiders, Chiefs, Chargers

As I noted in a poll yesterday, there are only three unbeaten teams remaining in the NFL — at the other end of the spectrum, only three clubs are still looking for their first win of the season. Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap examines those three franchises in his latest piece for The Sporting News, writing of the Raiders that they’ve “built one of the strangest rosters in recent memory.”

As Fitzgerald notes, Oakland added a number of aging veterans in free agency on its way to compiling the oldest roster in the NFL, and the team handed the quarterbacking reins to rookie Derek Carr shortly after trading for high-priced veteran Matt Schaub. The Raiders figure to win some games at some point this season, but it’s hard to imagine GM Reggie McKenzie and head coach Dennis Allen still having their jobs a year from now unless things turn around quickly, writes Fitzgerald.

Here’s more from around the AFC West:

  • Although Bill Williamson of has received many inquiries from Raiders fans on whether or not the team has interest in free agent defensive back Champ Bailey, Williamson says the team isn’t considering the veteran at this point (Twitter link).
  • Before they signed with the Packers’ and Lions’ practice squads, respectively, offensive lineman Josh Walker and defensive back Josh Victorian worked out for the Chiefs, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link), who says Kansas City team also auditioned wideout Ryan Spadola.
  • In addition to the players who signed to their roster or practice squad, or those whose workouts have been previously reported, the Chargers tried out the following players, according to Wilson (via Twitter): Offensive linemen Michael Bamiro, Travis Bond, and Bryce Quigley, linebacker Yawin Smallwood, and tight end Brian Wozniak.

Extra Points: Bironas, Harrison, Rudolph

Rob Bironas was planning to continue his NFL career before his unexpected death earlier this week, according to Titans punter Brett Kern. “I talked to him on Friday, because he had the workout with the Lions, and he was so excited that it went well. I told him I was proud of him,’ and that’s the last thing I told him,” Kern told reporters, including Jim Wyatt of The Tennesseean. “He was really looking forward to signing with another team.” More from around the NFL..

  • James Harrison‘s deal with the Steelers is for the veteran’s minimum, minus the three games already played, tweets Ed Bouchette of the Post-Gazette. Including his $65K bonus, he’ll collect just over $851K for this season.
  • There’s a chance Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph could be placed on the IR-DTR list, but “probably not,” head coach Mike Zimmer told reporters, including Matt Vensel of the Star Tribune (on Twitter).
  • Free agent cornerback Champ Bailey feels healthy and tells Adam Schefter of (on Twitter) that he is willing to play nickel or safety if that’s what it takes to land a job somewhere.
  • Teammate Tyvon Branch is headed to the IR, but the Raiders got some good news on teammate Rod Streater. His agent tells Bill Williamson of (on Twitter) that Streater only requires minor surgery and hopes to return in 4-5 weeks.

Latest On Champ Bailey

For a surefire future Hall of Famer, Champ Bailey has had a tumultuous offseason. After being released by the Broncos in March, Bailey signed a two-year deal with the Saints, only to be cut again, this time in late August. The 36-year-old cornerback worked out for the Lions on September 4 but wasn’t immediately signed; he’s garnered no other known interest. Bailey doesn’t sound like he’s ready to retire just yet, however, telling SiriusXM NFL Radio (on Twitter) that “if [the Lions] call, that’s a team [he’d] really like to talk to.”

Additionally, Bailey seems amenable to moving to safety, a transition that many aging corners make in order to find work in the NFL. The change has been suggested for Bailey over the past few seasons, and while he’s previously resisted such a move, he says he’d be “open to pretty much anything (position wise) at this point” (link). Since auditioning Bailey, Detroit has worked out a multitude of other cornerbacks, suggesting it wasn’t pleased with Bailey’s workout. It’s just my speculation, but the Jets, who could use help at both corner and safety, could make sense as a landing spot for Bailey.

As evidenced by his lack of employment, Bailey struggled in 2013 — while dealing with injuries, he amassed a -2.5 grade from Pro Football Focus (subscription required). However, nearly all of that negative value was due to lackluster performance in the Super Bowl. As recently as 2012, Bailey was his usual self, rating as the 10th-best CB among 113 qualifiers, per PFF. For his career, Bailey has started 212 games, racking up 52 interceptions and 812 tackles.

Champ Bailey Worked Out For Lions

12:01am: Bailey’s workout went well and the Lions liked what they saw, but it doesn’t seem that any signing is imminent, tweets Ian Rapoport of

11:26am: The Lions appear to be on the lookout for veteran help in their secondary, and will bring in cornerback Champ Bailey for a workout today, according to Tim Twentyman of (via Twitter). Bailey was let go over the weekend by the Saints as New Orleans cut its roster down to 53 players.

Bailey’s visit to the Lions comes on the heels of the team trying out several other free agent defensive backs. Roc Carmichael, Tommie Campbell, Chris Clemons, and Anthony Walters are among the players to audition for Detroit so far this week. The secondary, which lost 2013 starters Chris Houston and Louis Delmas this offseason, appears to be the weakest part of the Lions’ roster, or at least the group with the most question marks.

Bailey has a few question marks himself, after failing to earn a roster spot with the Saints despite receiving a $500K signing bonus when he signed with the club in April. The 12-time Pro Bowler appeared in just five regular season games in 2013 due to a foot injury, and his exorbitant cap hit made him a cap casualty for the AFC champion Broncos. He’s said to be healthy, but it remains to be seen how much he has left in the tank at age 36.

Jets Notes: Cuts, Joseph, Bailey, Hill

Jets’ general manager John Idzik is putting his stamp on the team, as 32 players on the final 53-man roster were Idzik acquisitions, writes Brian Costello of the New York Post (via Twitter). That leaves only 21 players left from former general manager Mike Tannenbaum’s time with the team,

Here are some other notes surrounding Gang Green after final cuts:

  • The team will be looking hard at the waiver wire for cornerbacks, and will also consider trading to bring someone in, writes Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News (via Twitter). One name Mehta brings up as a player to look out for is Texans’ cornerback Johnathan Joseph. Joseph was a Pro Bowler in 2011 and 2012, but struggled with injuries last year.
  • Another name the Jets may be interested is recently released veteran cornerback Champ Bailey, according to Dan Graziano of (via Twitter). Bailey claims to be fully healthy and ready to play, and despite his age, the Jets are looking for upgrades in the secondary.
  • While Bailey looks like an obvious choice, Rich Cimini of does not see the fit happening. The 36-year-old former All Pro player was just cut by the Saints, and if defensive coordinator Rob Ryan had no use for him on the team, then Rex Ryan knows exactly where he has lost a step.
  • After Stephen Hill was cut by the team, his agent Alan Herman criticized the Jets for how they handled Hill’s early seasons, writes Cimini. “The quarterback situation with [Mark] Sanchez and [Tim] Tebow was obviously a disaster; it wasn’t right for a young player,” Herman said. “Last year, Geno [Smith] was thrown into a difficult situation and the offense was limited. Stephen’s bread-and-butter is the deep ball, which we rarely saw. Stephen needs an established quarterback situation to help him realize his potential.”