The common narrative is that Champ Bailey is done, after he struggled through just 333 snaps (193 regular season, 140 post-season) last season thanks to injury and with him going into his age 36 season. However, he had a great 2012 season, at least in the regular season, when he graded out as Pro Football Focus’ 10th ranked cornerback and he has such an impressive history that it wouldn’t shock me if he had one more season in the tank provided he can stay healthy. He showed enough in the post-season last year to suggest that’s a decent possibility.
The Saints are risking very little with this deal. There’s only a 500K signing bonus and that’s all that’s guaranteed. He can earn another million dollars if he makes the final 53 man roster and another 250K if he plays at least 6 games this season. He can make up to 6.75 million over 2 seasons through incentives, but the total money on this deal is just 3.75 million over 2 seasons. They needed another cornerback after cutting Jabari Greer. Ideally, Champ Bailey would be one of the Saints’ top 3 cornerbacks this season with Keenan Lewis and Corey White, though they’ll probably add another cornerback through the draft, probably in the first couple of rounds. It’s a low risk deal that could pay off.