The Denver Broncos made it to the Super Bowl this past year without All-Pro cornerback Champ Bailey most of the year. Even when he returned to the field after a multitude of injuries, it was clear he was just a shell of himself, and Denver can no longer afford to pay him like an elite CB.
According to Lindsay Jones of USA Today Sports, the Broncos are releasing the team's longest-tenured player, and he's now able to sign with whoever he wants:
"I'm good. It's bittersweet. Now I get to go see what is out there," Bailey told USA TODAY Sports on Wednesday evening. "I'm looking at the positive side of it."
"It sucks, but at the same time, I have to move on. I can't dwell on it. I know they're not dwelling on it."
The Bengals probably don't want to sign an aging CB with diminishing skills, but with Chris Crocker, Taylor Mays and Brandon Ghee hitting free agency, perhaps Bailey could be an option if he's willing to play both CB and safety:
"I just want to see what people will want me to do. My vision is to still play corner, but I'm a little more open-minded about the season I had last year." Bailey said. "I'm a corner at heart. If a situation made sense to play safety, then I would consider it."
Bailey was able to play just 333 snaps last year, mostly due to a foot injury suffered in the preseason. At age 35 with 15 NFL seasons behind him, he's probably not worth a contract worth more than a few million and no guaranteed money beyond this season.
At least, that's the best offer he'll get from a team like the Bengals, who have more pressing needs to address. Still, Bailey would be a nice addition, given his experience in big-time postseason games.
As we saw again this year, the Bengals could use more players who know how to win in the playoffs.