The remaining four games on the Denver Broncos schedule could mark the final games for cornerback Champ Bailey in Denver. The future Hall-of-Fame cornerback is in the final year of the seven-year, $63 million contract he signed in 2004 after being traded from the Washington Redskins.
The Denver Broncos ended contract talks with Bailey earlier this season and with the firing of head coach Josh McDaniels the Broncos will once again be in rebuilding mode, leaving Bailey’s future in Denver uncertain.
Bailey, who turns 33 this summer will be entering his 13th season in the NFL in 2011. Whoever the Broncos hire as their next head coach will affect whether or not Champ re-signs with the fledgling Broncos.
"I hope whatever plan they go with they believe in it, they stick with it and let it play itself out," Bailey said. "I don't know if I could stand another change, after this one. This is the last straw for me. I really don't like dealing with this now, not at this point in my career."
If the Broncos are committed to keeping Bailey, they have to hire a legitimate head coach and general manager who can right the ship sooner rather than later. If Bailey becomes a free agent this offseason over half of the NFL will be knocking on his door.
Bailey has expressed some interest in moving to free safety to prolong his career in the NFL. Bailey won’t covert to safety until he lands another lucrative cornerback contract, which he will get. The question is will it be in Denver or somewhere else?
"It's not all in my hands. I just know that once I'm a free agent, I can control where I go, and it's about who wants me," Bailey said at a recent charity event.
Bailey deserves a chance to win a Super Bowl ring. If he has to leave Denver to play on a championship-caliber team so be it. Champ gave the Broncos a legit shutdown cornerback for seven seasons.
The next few weeks and months will greatly determine the future of Bailey. Broncos fans will have their fingers crossed, and hopefully Bailey retires as a Denver Bronco.