When I heard the news last night that the Denver Broncos were releasing CB Champ Bailey, I was shocked. One of the best shut-down corners of our time, the player simply known as Champ is clearly on the tail-end of his career. In 15 seasons, Bailey has 812 tackles, 52 interceptions (four returned for touchdowns), 203 pass break-ups, nine forced fumbles, and five fumble recoveries. The former Georgia Bulldog was able to put up those gaudy stats despite quarterbacks fearing his side of the field for the majority of his career. Now, as he looks to fulfill his illustrious career with a Super Bowl ring, what are the chances the San Francisco 49ers make a bid for him?
Considering the 49ers were entertaining the idea of SS Charles Woodson last year, it wouldn’t surprise me if Bailey was given the same opportunity. Last off-season, Woodson left 49ers headquarters without a contract and later signed with the team that drafted him in the Oakland Raiders. A contract that was economical for both sides as it was a one-year deal worth $1 million up to $4.3 million (based on incentives), the question remains will Bailey ask for a similar offer.
Bailey is still a very solid cornerback despite his age as he turns 36 to start the season. But look at WR Anquan Boldin, a player that is 33, Boldin was still able to get paid and deservedly so. And with both Boldin and Bailey having their fair share of battles in the AFC, I doubt Boldin would mind having Bailey on his side. A veteran cornerback that is a better player than CB Carlos Rogers, I believe the 49ers should make a play for him as a No. 3 nickel corner. A savvy football player with the football IQ to match, Bailey still has plenty of gas left in the tank as he seeks his first Super Bowl ring.