Well, this is awkward.
After cutting Champ Bailey today, the state of the Denver Broncos’ defensive backfield is in doubt.
OK, cutting Champ was a necessary evil and it’s time the Broncos move forward despite all the great play he put forth on the field for 10 seasons.
But that move leaves them without any of their starting cornerbacks from last year.
Sound the alarm, people.
Unless Jack Del Rio has been scheming up new ways to play defense without corners, this is a bit worrisome at the moment.
Part of the reason is that Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Chris Harris remain free agents; John Elway and Co. have to re-sign them, right?
DRC was dynamic last season, stepping into that No. 1 cornerback role when Champ was injured. DRC is taller than Champ, which helps with defending the taller No. 1 receivers, he’s got speed and quickness, everything you could want in a top corner. Without a doubt, the Broncos have to re-sign Rodgers-Cromartie first and foremost.
Then, it’s Harris’ turn at a new contract. Despite tearing his ACL in the Divisional round win over the Chargers, Harris was marvelous all season long leading up to that point. And he was making a mere $500,000. He started at nickel, getting lots of experience there in 2012 and at the beginning of the year, before moving over to the starting spot opposite of DRC. He’s very valuable because he can play both spots and he’s not afraid to go up and make a tackle. Harris is a restricted free agent, meaning if another team signs him they’ll have to send Denver their second round draft pick.
And even if the Broncos do re-sign both DRC and Harris, they’ll still need at least one more, unless they’re comfortable in letting Kayvon Webster get much playing time. Webster was given a trial last year and was burned due to inexperience multiple times. A more veteran presence would benefit the Broncos.
What happens next is anyone’s guess and free agency officially begins on March 11.
Like this? Click here to read why the Broncos were smart to shut down Champ Bailey.