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Champ Bailey: I want to play corner for Denver Broncos

  • By Kevin Patra NFL.com
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Before the 2012 NFL season, Denver Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey said he would consider a move to safety in a couple years, when he's 36 years old.

As the Broncos opened their 2013 offseason program following a disappointing playoff loss in which Bailey gave up two touchdowns to speedy Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith, the 15-year veteran was reminded of his year-old comments and asked if he planned on making the move a year early.

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"Hey, until these young guys start doing something, I'm not taking a back seat to them," Bailey said Tuesday, according to The Denver Post. "Later on, maybe, but right now I still feel like I can play at the level I expect and the level they expect me to at corner. Besides, I'm not even close to 36. I'm 34."

Bailey turns 35 in June.

A transition from cornerback to safety for top-flight cornerbacks isn't anything new in the NFL, the most recent example being Ronde Barber, who made the transition for the 2012 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

While Bailey got beat by Smith in the playoffs, banishing him to safety based off that performance would be quite an over-correction. The veteran corner ranked No. 4 in Pro Football Focus' Yards Per Coverage Snaps in 2012, giving up just 0.82 yards on those plays. The analytic website also ranked Bailey and his starting teammate Chris Harris Jr. as the best cornerback duo in the league last season.

Bailey might not be the most fleet of foot anymore, but as he said, he's still got at least one more season before the talk about moving to safety should start.

Follow Kevin Patra on Twitter @kpatra.

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