Champ Bailey “fully healthy” and “definitely” wants to play this season

AP

The Saints parted ways with cornerback Champ Bailey as they dropped to 53 players this weekend, leading some to wonder if this is the end of the line for a likely Hall of Famer.

Bailey has spent 15 years in the NFL, but was bothered by a foot injury this summer after missing 11 games for the Broncos because of a similar problem last season. That run of health problems and his failure to make the Saints paint a bleak picture for the 12-time Pro Bowler’s future, but Bailey’s agent Jack Reale says his client isn’t ready to hang up the cleats.

“Definitely, and he is fully healthy now,” Reale said, via NFL Media. “He had a plantar problem, which is resolved, but he just missed too much time for the coach’s evaluation to be complete and unfortunately in the last two games they didn’t throw at him, so he couldn’t show his stuff. He is fine.”

Teams are always looking for cornerbacks — the Jets come to mind as a team with a real need at the position right now — and Bailey’s resume is the sort of thing that makes teams pay attention when he’s on the open market. That won’t help him if he can’t stay healthy enough to be productive, though, and it certainly feels like the curtain is coming down on Bailey’s decorated NFL career.