The New Orleans Saints announced today that they have agreed to terms with free agent cornerback Champ Bailey on a two-year contract. The announcement was made by Saints’ Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis.
“We are excited to be able to add a future Hall of Fame player with the addition of Champ Bailey,” said Loomis. “His career accomplishments mirror that of his high character and he’s a very prideful and competitive player who we believe will add to our defense. Having spent time with him recently and in our discussions with him, I know that he’s thrilled to be joining the New Orleans Saints and starting a new chapter in his professional life.”
Bailey, 6-0, 192, is a 15-year NFL veteran and member of the 2000’s NFL All-Decade Team. He was originally selected by the Washington Redskins with the seventh overall pick in the 1999 NFL Draft out of the University of Georgia. After spending his first five seasons in Washington, Bailey was traded to the Denver Broncos in 2004 where he played the last 10 seasons.
Overall, Bailey has appeared in 215 career regular season games with 212 starts, totaling 983 tackles (837 solo), 52 interceptions, 235 passes defensed, three sacks, nine forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries. His 52 interceptions represent the most among active NFL cornerbacks and his 204 passes defensed lead all active players. He has also started 10-of-11 career postseason games, recording 34 tackles (30 solo), two interception returns for 105 yards and 10 passes defensed.
Bailey’s 12 career Pro Bowl selections trail only Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive end Reggie White (13) among defensive players in NFL history and tie for the sixth most overall.
In 2013, the 6-0, 192 pounder appeared in five regular season games with three starts for the Broncos as he missed 11 games with a foot injury. He posted 14 tackles (12 solo) and three passes defensed. He appeared in all three postseason games for Denver with two starts, including Super Bowl XLVII and recorded 11 solo tackles.
An active presence in the community throughout his career, Bailey was a two-time recipient of Denver’s Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award (2008-09).
One of college football’s most dynamic players during his career at Georgia, Bailey contributed on offense, defense and special teams for the Bulldogs. In his final collegiate season, he earned consensus All-America and first-team All-Southeastern Conference recognition in addition to winning the Bronko Nagurski Award as the nation’s top defensive player.
A Class-A all-state selection in football at Charlton County High School in Folkston, Ga., Bailey was born on June 22, 1978 in Fort Campbell, Ky.