Top 5: Replacements for Champ Bailey

Credit: Noah K. Murray, USA TODAY Sports

With the release of Champ Bailey, the Broncos have a huge hole at the cornerback position.

Bailey is now gone, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is a free agent and Chris Harris is coming off an ACL injury he suffered in the playoff win against the Chargers.

The Broncos need some help at the cornerback spot for sure.

Here are some players that would help the Broncos fill that void:

1. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
This is the most logical choice. The Broncos need to sign him as he already took over the No. 1 corner spot last season. He should be the Broncos top priority this offseason. He is going to command a top salary but Denver needs him and should be willing to open its checkbook for the corner.

2. Brandon Browner
He would be a risk for sure but the guy can cover. Browner was suspended by the NFL but was reinstated on Tuesday. One more strike in the drug policy and he will be kicked out of the league. This move would be daring but could help the Broncos get tougher in the secondary and Browner was part of the Seahawks’ “Legion of Boom” in the past.

3. Alterraun Verner
Signing one of the top corners on the free agent market would make the secondary better right away. Verner, who was with the Titans last season, finished second in the league in passes defended. He will be expensive as he could demand a $10 million a year contract but the Broncos did free up a lot money with the release of Bailey.

4. Justin Verrett
The Broncos could go the draft route to fill the need at cornerback. Verrett impressed at the combine and is seen as one of the best in the draft. The only downside of the corner from TCU is his size. He is only 5’9″ but is still willing to tackle and looks to make plays. He should be around when the Broncos pick No. 31.

5. Charles Tillman
The ballhawk from the Chicago Bears would only be an option is the Broncos re-sign Rodgers-Cromartie. He could be a good second/third corner with DRC and Harris. He is a veteran and won’t command too much money. Tillman wants to be back in Chicago but it seems like the Bears may be ready to move on without him.

What do you think? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section.

Chris Schmaedeke is currently the Assistant Sports Editor at the Daily Camera in Boulder. He has worked in sports journalism in Colorado since 2001 when he started at the Rocky Mountain News. He has covered the Denver Broncos for several websites over the past two years.

Follow Chris on Twitter at @ChrisSchmaedeke

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