After making Jabari Greer a cap casualty earlier this offseason, the New Orleans Saints have found a veteran No. 2 cornerback replacement for the long-time starter, as ESPN NFL Nation’s Mike Triplett reports that the Saints have agreed to a two-year deal with former Denver Broncos corner Champ Bailey. He was a cap casualty for the Broncos after being released from his untenable salary, and it’s safe to say that the move worked out for the aggressive Broncos.
The Saints have made plenty of veteran cap cuts this offseason and traded away Darren Sproles, but Mickey Loomis also decided to pull some tricks. They made an incredibly aggressive move early in the free agent period to sign elite free safety Jairus Byrd, who was arguably the top available free agent and somebody who will give the Saints a massive upgrade in deep coverage. Now, the Saints have added a quality starting corner to boost the secondary, though it’s fair to wonder how much Bailey has left in the tank at the age of 35.
That said, the future Hall of Famer at CB should form a quality starting tandem with Keenan Lewis, who emerged as a true No. 1 corner last year and excels as a press corner, which is definitely not an easy role, in Rob Ryan’s defense. With Byrd shoring things up deep and the talented Kenny Vaccaro at SS, the Saints secondary looks a lot better heading into the 2014 season. Bailey can’t be worse than Greer, and I have faith that he’ll be a solid starter if healthy.
Bailey visited the Saints earlier this week, and CBS Sports’s Jason La Canfora reported not long before Triplett’s report of a deal between Bailey and the Saints that the CB would sign with a team today. He dropped a strong hint that this team would be the Saints by mentioning the visit, and no other team had significant interest in the locker room leader.