Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

23 Feb 2011

Broncos Lock Up Champ Bailey

The Broncos have re-signed veteran cornerback Champ Bailey, giving him a four-year deal in excess of $43 million with $22 million in guaranteed money. $15 million of that guaranteed cash comes during the 2011 season.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 23 Feb 2011

16 comments, Last at 25 Feb 2011, 10:06pm by BroncosGuyAgain


by Alexander :: Wed, 02/23/2011 - 12:55am

Did Al Davis buy the Broncos?

by Subrata Sircar :: Wed, 02/23/2011 - 1:37am

What happens to guaranteed contracts when the owners lock out the players? If that cash essentially goes away, then Bailey and others like him get screwed over.

by tuluse :: Wed, 02/23/2011 - 3:05am

I was wondering the same thing in the Richard Seymour thread.

by coboney :: Wed, 02/23/2011 - 6:11am

Basically I would believe it would depend on the type of guarantee and when its paid out. For a signing bonus he'd get it all. If its 'guaranteed' money to be paid out on X Date if its date he's fine - if its league year day it waits for that long.

by Mr Shush :: Thu, 02/24/2011 - 12:35pm

Per Mike Klis of the Denver Post via PFT, the "guaranteed" money consists of a fully guaranteed $11m salary for 2011, which will presumably be paid out in the form of game checks and hence reduced in the case of a shortened season, a $4m 2012 roster bonus which becomes guaranteed if Bailey is on the roster at the start of the 2011 season, and $7m in 2012 salary which is guaranteed against injury (only) but becomes fully guaranteed on the fifth day of that league year, if he is still on the roster. There is no signing bonus.

by JonFrum :: Wed, 02/23/2011 - 4:49pm

They get guaranteed money the day the season starts, whenever that is. You'd need to lose the entire season before the next question came up.

by Danish Denver-Fan :: Wed, 02/23/2011 - 9:30am

Good for him, a loyal trooper.

by big_jgke :: Wed, 02/23/2011 - 11:54am

Who's worse next season (whenever it happens): Broncos or Bills?

by Shattenjager :: Wed, 02/23/2011 - 2:23pm


by JonFrum :: Wed, 02/23/2011 - 4:50pm

Which is harder to pick - the Super Bowl or the first draft choice?

by ChicagoRaider :: Wed, 02/23/2011 - 5:22pm

Well, is this about building a club or making some fans happy? Sure, it would be smarter to sign two younger free agents to deals. But those guys would not help put buns in seats next year.

(And it isn't lost on me that Al Davis could sign 4 free agents instead of Seymour and Asomugha)

by zerlesen (not verified) :: Wed, 02/23/2011 - 6:32pm

It's about making some fans happy - but at this point, why not make some fans happy? The deal doesn't appear to be financially ludicrous, he's a good guy to keep around even if he's no longer top-5 at his position, and I honestly doubt we were going to do anything more sensible with the cap room.

by commissionerleaf :: Wed, 02/23/2011 - 7:45pm

It's true. Saying Champ isn't worth $10M a year isn't the same thing as saying the Broncos don't need $10M a year of Champ. He is no longer the best CB in the league, that's probably Nnamdi and maybe Revis. But he is not a CB that gets picked on for big completions, and he could probably play nickel if he's losing a step or two anyway, so he'll start for another four years unless he retires. $10M a year for a starter at one of the more important positions isn't bad.

by TimK :: Wed, 02/23/2011 - 8:12pm

He has also talked about finishing his career at Safety, and his tackling has always been solid so he could probably do that OK. Seems not bad value, of course CBA could change that, but I don't expect the cap value is going down much.

Rookie pay-scale coming in a new CBA could also make this kind of deal for vets who are good to keep around as players and as people more viable, you can afford to spend a bit more on popular vets if you don't have to vastly overpay unproven youngsters.

by The Ninjalectual :: Thu, 02/24/2011 - 5:01pm

He can hit too--I remember a play in Denver vs. the Chiefs where he saved a touchdown by laying out (I think it was) Bowe.

by BroncosGuyAgain (not verified) :: Fri, 02/25/2011 - 10:06pm

Is it possible that this is a deal that's bad for both parties? The Broncos pay a very-good-but-aging player money that would make sense if Champ were 26 years old. Champ, who deserves a chance to play on a great team, commits to a re-building team with a screwed-up roster. I begrudge Champ nothing: he has been a great player, leader, locker room role model. I hope that, at the end, both parties are happy with the deal they made. I fear than neither will.