Breaking News: #Broncos CB Champ Bailey just told me quote, "I am putting my Littleton, (CO) house up for sale. "
-Josina Anderson on Twitter
Well, this was an interesting bit of news to wake up to. Mike Klis of the Denver Post is reporting that the Denver Broncos have resumed contract talks with Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey, as you may have read in today's horse tracks. Bailey has been to the Pro Bowl 10 times, an NFL record among cornerbacks and is sure to receive a bust in the Hall of Fame some day. John Fox commented on the Broncos' star defender:
"He's a guy we have strong feelings about," coach John Fox said. "We've had some dialogue there. There have been discussions.
"He's a guy we definitely want to bring back. You never know how things like that work out, but we're moving forward as best we know how."
The Post also reports that the Broncos are not likely to give Champ the franchise tag because it essentially guarantees him a $15 million contract for the 2011 season. While franchising him wouldn't be the worst idea, signing him to a three or four year deal that is front loaded might be the better one.
It's hard to determine what kind of deal Bailey will receive from the Broncos, especially with talks that he might be moving to safety in the coming years.
Certainly much of this will factor in, but the best estimate right now is to look for a three or four year deal that amounts to roughly $10 million per year. That would be my best estimate as of now, because it gives the Broncos flexibility for the future.
What implications would this have on the draft?
In my opinion, that is an area of the discussion that could change. I am so uncertain of what the Panthers will do right now that I can't really say what the Broncos' options will even be when it comes time for the draft, but if Bailey is signed and the draft happened today, I still think they would look to Patrick Peterson, but it all depends on who is available. Certainly Nick Fairley and Da'Quan Bowers will be considered as well, but if the Broncos can lock up Bailey for a couple more years, they could definitely look to address the defensive line early and cornerback later on.
The Broncos and Bailey have gotten close on a deal before, a deal that would have been for four years and more than $40 million. These discussions do not mean in any way that a deal is done, or that it is close to getting done. You've been hearing over the last week that the Colts are trying to make Peyton Manning the richest player in the history of the league, yet they slapped him with the franchise tag yesterday.
Either way, the Broncos should not be looking to build this team to win the Super Bowl in 2011. I know that sounds crazy, but they can't go into the draft thinking they need to address needs A, B, C, and D all in that order. Re-signing Champ Bailey gives them the flexibility to look elsewhere in the draft than cornerback, but it doesn't mean they are not going to take Patrick Peterson. Just something to keep in mind as we press onward with what is sure to be a very interesting offseason.