In a Tip Sheet piece for Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com [available by “insider” purchase only] Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey revealed that he intends to eventually convert to safety in order to prolong his NFL career.
Bailey’s current agenda, however, involves securing a payday that would align him with the top NFL cornerbacks’ salaries for “another three or four seasons.”
This presents a dilemma for the Broncos, who are scheduled to pay Bailey $13 million in 2010, the last year of his contract. While Bailey is by all accounts still playing at an extremely high level, he is 32 years old and likely behind contract-year linebacker Elvis Dumervil in G.M. Brian Xanders’ pecking order for long-term commitments.
The Broncos have also used five picks on defensive backs in Josh McDaniels’ two drafts, indicating they are aware of Bailey’s situation and realize losing him is a possibility.
Bailey says his price tag will lower once he executes a position switch, but it ain’t happening yet.
Entering his seventh season in Denver and 12th in the NFL, Bailey has put together a Hall of Fame resume. He’s been to nine Pro Bowls — a league record for a cornerback — and three times secured first-team All-Pro honors. Bailey’s 46 interceptions rank second among active players. He has been flagged for pass interference once in the last four years.