Saints sign Champ Bailey to 2-year contract

Kevin C. Cox

Champ is going to the Saints, where he can play either safety or cornerback for an improving defense.

Champ Bailey is headed to the New Orleans Saints after agreeing to a two-year contract with the organization Friday, according to ESPN's Mike Triplett. Bailey will spend 2014 playing for a team other than the Denver Broncos for the first time since 2003.

Whether Bailey makes the Saints significantly better is the big question. He's a future Hall of Famer, and was still effective when he managed to get healthy for the Broncos last season. However, Bailey appeared in just five games due to a Lisfranc injury, and failed to record an interception for the first time in his 16-year career.

Depth is a nice thing for NFL teams to have, and Bailey certainly gives the Saints that. He can play corner or safety, and may be better suited for the latter position now that age has sapped some of his athleticism. Bailey may not necessarily start at either position next season, with significant money invested in Keenan Lewis, Jairus Byrd and Kenny Vaccaro, and Corey White stepping up as a viable cornerback last season as a former fifth-round pick. When offenses spread the field against the Saints, however, Bailey will very likely be on the field.

Bailey's signing could open up the Saints' options in the 2014 NFL Draft. The Saints still need help along the offensive line and in the pass rush. SB Nation's latest mock draft had New Orleans targeting cornerback Bashaud Breeland in the second round after taking outside linebacker Demarcus Lawrence in the first. A player like center Marcus Martin out of USC could be a better pickup in the second round now that the secondary looks relatively secure.

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