Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

05 Feb 2014

ESPN: Five Big Names on Chopping Block

Looking at five good candidates for salary cap cuts this offseason: Chris Johnson, Mark Sanchez, Santonio Holmes, Champ Bailey, and Julius Peppers.

Posted by: Rivers McCown on 05 Feb 2014

10 comments, Last at 07 Feb 2014, 2:29am by Cythammer


by JoRo :: Wed, 02/05/2014 - 6:25pm

Not really any surprises.

by jds :: Wed, 02/05/2014 - 11:12pm

I thought Peppers was more likely to restructure, rather than part ways with Chicago. Has something changed lately?

by The Hypno-Toad :: Wed, 02/05/2014 - 8:04pm

I'm going to miss champ. From my admittedly biased perspective, he's basically everything you can reasonably ask of a pro. About five years ago, with no particular decision or intention from my conscious mind, I started referring to him internally as Sir Champwick of Bailey, which has frequently brought a little grin to my face. I hope he has a long career in coaching ahead of him, if that's what he'd like to do. It seems like he'd probably be quite good at it.

by commissionerleaf :: Wed, 02/05/2014 - 8:16pm

Bailey has been one of the most respected and competent players of his position, and people, in the game for quite a while. I can't see him getting picked up anywhere because it's obvious he hasn't got the wheels any longer. But if he does want to stay in football, he has a lot of people with positive opinions of him in the game.

I know one of the old ESPN soundfx episodes had a couple of top receivers talking on the sideline about cornerbacks and one of them (Chad Johnson?) mentioned that Champ Bailey was tough because he was the most complete cornerback in the game in terms of skills and athletic ability, both.

At a position where being a top corner can be measured in months (Remember when the bet CB in the NFL was that guy who played for the Raiders and nobody threw at?), he has stayed on top for years.

by Insancipitory :: Thu, 02/06/2014 - 3:04am

Some corners his size have gone for a short turn at Safety. Very successfully, even. He could take a hometown discount, and still contribute significantly. I don't think is a crazy idea at all. It's not like Denver has world-beaters back there as their last line of defense.

by The Hypno-Toad :: Thu, 02/06/2014 - 11:03am

That's possible, and it's hard to effectively judge where he is physically given that he played so little this season. But if that sort of mobility is where he really is and not just a result of his injury, it's hard for me to see him being all that useful at safety, even on a team that hasn't really had two above average safties at the same time since Dennis Smith retired (or that's what it feels like, anyway).

by Rick_and_Roll :: Thu, 02/06/2014 - 1:34am

it was kinda sad to see a guy who was the best CB for a long time get beat on a slant and go by a solid, but not great WR in the SB.

Of the guys mentioned, I think Sanchez has the best chance to revitalize his career with a fresh start. I could see him having a similar career to Jake Plummer if he gets in the right situation. Good start, but then faded fast and needed a change of scenery to revitalize his career.

by Cythammer :: Fri, 02/07/2014 - 2:29am

I don't know that he had a good start. His rookie year was his worst season. He did improve statistically through his third year, but his fourth year featured a dropoff. That had more to do with having no running game to support him, and no receivers to throw to. Sanchez isn't a good quarterback, but he is better than he appeared to be in 2012.

by JoRo :: Thu, 02/06/2014 - 3:03am

I still think Bailey ends up staying with Denver on a reworked deal. The reality is he'll play one, maybe two more years? This may be the Bronco fan in me but at that point I know I'd rather stick it out with the contending franchise I know.

by The Hypno-Toad :: Thu, 02/06/2014 - 11:10am

I think that's possible, but I think any player, especially one as proud as champ rightly is of his career would balk at a 70-90% reduction in pay, which is what I would expect the Broncos to offer. I don't know what his dead money situation would be if he was cut, but if he's even offered a $3M salary this year by the Broncos, that would surprise me. I'd be less surprised if the best offer he got from the team was less than $2M.