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Published on 01/21/2011 at Fri Jan 21 10:16.
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Champ Bailey

In our mind, the question that will have the biggest impact on the Denver Broncos defense in 2011 isn’t, “Who’s the next defensive coordinator?” It’s, “Will Champ Bailey be coming back?”

Hear us out. Unless one of the Broncos’ choices for defensive coordinator turns out to be a stellar hire who shines above the other candidates, the difference between Wink Martindale or Dennis Allen or someone else at the helm is negligible in my mind. John Fox, a defensive-minded head coach, will have a lot of input either way, and we’re confident in whomever he chooses.

Champ Bailey’s presence — or absence — would be profoundly felt across any scheme.

To that end, the Denver Post‘s Woody Paige drops a notable nugget in his latest mailbag:

Fox and Elway have been tap-dancing around Champ. A lot hinges on the collective bargaining agreement. But I have it on good authority that Champ, who wants to come back, will be signed to a four-year deal, think $42 million, or will be designated franchise player for next season.

Interesting note Woody. So we at BroncoTalk dug deeper.

After our own Jon Heath DM’ed FOX anchor Josina Anderson on Twitter, Anderson touched base with Bailey’s agent, Jack Reale. Reale said, “there has been no contact from the #Broncos since before the season ended.”

Now, recall John Fox‘s comments on Champ from his head coach introductory presser –

“I think right now at this point in the process, it is a little bit hard. We do have a pretty fluid schedule moving forward, with some of the (Collective Bargaining Agreement) things… I think now it is too early to say, other than that he is held with great respect — both in the community of Denver and by the Denver Broncos.”

Reading between the lines, it seems clear that the Broncos would like to re-up Champ’s contract and keep him in Denver, but way, way, way too much depends on the CBA dispute and imminent lockout. Woody even said it himself, “a lot hinges on the collective bargaining agreement.”

We’d say it all hinges on that, and right now that situation is looking grim. So we figure that, yes, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. But that light is getting dimmer.

Woody’s Mailbag: Dissecting the Broncos’ John Fox hiring, and a few predictions [Denver Post]

  • 42n8

    Pleeeeaaassse keep Champ! He still plays at a pro-bowl level and he, like Rod Smith before him, can be a coach on the field and in the locker room to the young guys on defense — especially those who are dranfte this year.

  • td30ismvp

    The bonus for Champ is he can tackle with the best of them, so he can slide over to Safety which has been only adequate recently. He is also a heck of a spokesperson for the team and Denver area just a hard working stand up professional. As Hope would say…”sighn heem nowe”.

  • Man w/ Plan

    What if Bailey switches to Free Safety, Dawkins switches to Strong Safety. Sign Nnamdi and draft perterson!

  • Kingpins10

    I personally think the Broncos should look at kicking him. Either sign him for 2 more years (he's going to be 33 in June), or let him go if he demands a 4-year contract.

    At his age, he is going to lose a step in the next year.

  • Hope

    Well Champ is still the best conerback in the nfl from what I see.He doesn't get a lot of interception becuase know one in the NFL throws the ball his way.He also locks down his side of the feild every game for over 5 years now or longer .Thier may be 1 or 2 conerback that might be just as good as Champ Baily but their is no one better then he is.Getting rid of Champ Baily would be worst then getting rid of Cutler.So plaese plaese plaese resighn Champ to a nother 4 year contract.He will play every bit of 4 years like a probowler.

  • stav

    You can use Champ's tackling form and technique as a teaching tool to high school players its so sound. The guy rarely, RARELY, misses a tackle – 4 years, two at CB, and the last two at FS. No one talks about him except for us, but they still barely throw at his side. Yeah, he might not be what he was a few years ago, but its safe to say that he's still a probowl caliber CB, you just don't let those guys walk away. It would be idiotic to let a top five CB walk because of his age. Yes, the wheels are going to eventually fall off, but they haven't yet and I won't be complaining if it happens when he's a Bronco. We gotta lock this guy up so he can retire and go into the HOF as a Bronco, but more importantly, he's still too good of a player to lose, and can you imagine how shitty we would of been without him? Yes, there are depths of shittiness that we were spared because we had an athlete like Champ on one side of the field.

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  • Iceberg.

    Letting champ go now would be idiotic in my honest opinion. We are looking at a hall of fame career at cornerback and if rod woodson is any example, champ can have a totally separate hall of fame career at safety. Once he makes the switch, he's instantly the 2nd or 3rd best safety in the league that can cover any tight-end. That is an invaluable tool for any DC.

  • Laramiefan

    That is a lot of money to spend on one player because it takes away from spending on another to improve their team . Is there still a cap ?In the old days before the cap, Dallas could buy a championship and the Forty niners could spend 50 million more than anyone else to win a Superbowl .There might be a good reason Denver does not throw money everywhere . It has to be spread around to get the best players and have the money to pay them if there is a cap .

  • 5280

    HE'S CHAMP! how do you throw away champ? I think the biggest reason you keep a guy lke champ is the the tutoring he can give to these young, talented backs we just picked up. Champ is the most elite CB in the game now regardless of age but more importantly he could have a hand in shaping the next great ones here in denver. sydquan has all the characteristica yoou want in a good CB but with a lil more learning under an already great player like champ he could become another shutdown CB. same goes for parrish cox.

  • jesus

    i couldn't have said it better. any real bronco fan would agree with that. bailey is a legend on defense just like elway is on offense we gave him a chance and ended up winning 2 awesome superbowls in his thirtys. bailey might be old but is in his prime clearly. just look at the game against the chiefs he shutdown the leading touchdown reciever dwyane bowe to almost no yards,catches or touchdowns

  • jesus

    john elways comments about what happened to this football organization in the fan base side about we arent like we used to be on the fan base of the side and you want to get rid of the only player that has the skills of champ and one of the greatest players we look up too. First shannahan then cutler(by the way he's in the freakin championship that could've been us) then they got rid of the one hand wonder brandon marshall whats next rip out our heart and let us hope for nothing come on john elway u have the power to keep him ppppppppllllleeeeeeaaaassssseeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Blue Rooster

    Hear you man, am still bleeding 'orange/blue' by the blasphemy!

  • ETL

    And then it won't matter cause no one will be rushing the QB!

  • LevonZevon

    No matter what we do in free-agency and the draft, the front-seven won't dominate until we have a double-team absorber like Clay Matthews Jr, B.J. Raji or Julius Peppers.

    But, as the Jets showed, a mediocre front-seven can get you far with a shutdown corner freeing up another defender to roam/blitz/jump patterns. But only if you have a defensive-coordinator unafraid to blitz (which makes not blitzing and zone-blitzing–as Raji did today for Capers on the INT for six– also more effective).

    Nnamdi and Bailey or Nnamdi and Goodman– with Bailey and B-Dawk at safety– will allow that kind of free-lancing. I am greatly concerned with our lack of talent at Safety– one of the most crucial and under-rated spots on contemporary defenses– but why is everyone acting like Goodman is over-the-hill?

    Renaldo is, but Goodman can go another season and also has good technique intackling and coverage.

    I'd trade down and acuire more second and third-rounders or even trade Kuper and try to bolster a weak right-side of the line by drafting Mike Pouncey. In fact, we should go all-brothers and manage to draft Clay Matthews Jr.'s brother from Oregon too.

  • DarrenBrant

    To win some of the fans back, you gotta keep Champ. Hall of Famer on and off the field!

  • DarrenBrant

    To win some of the fans back, you gotta keep Champ. Hall of Famer on and off the field!