As cornerbacks get further and further into their career, they begin to slow down and struggle covering receivers in the open field. This usually leads to a transition to the safety position to adjust to their age.
The conversation is nothing new, and with Champ Bailey now entering his 16th season, there were whispers that he may need to move to safety to keep his career going. After signing a multi-year contract with the New Orleans Saints, Bailey will get the chance to continue playing the position he has dominated since debuting in the NFL in 1999.
Loomis said they intend to only play Champ Bailey at CB. "You always have a need for good players and that's a valuable position."
— Larry Holder (@LarryHolder) April 9, 2014
CBS Sports has more information on the Saints decision.
The Saints aren’t planning to play Bailey at safety. Instead, general manager Mickey Loomis said, via the New Orleans Times Picayune, that Bailey would play cornerback.
“You always have a need for good players and that’s a valuable position,” Loomis said.
There’s little question that we’ll have to question how effective Bailey will continue to be at the cornerback position as he enters his 16th year in the league. But for now, the Saints seem to think it’ll all work out OK.
While it remains to be seen if Bailey can recover fully after a 2013 season that saw him miss 11 games and struggle at times, New Orleans is willing to give him a chance to return to form.