Champ Bailey was talked up as a big free agent acquisition in New Orleans out of respect for his 12 Pro Bowl appearances. There hasn't been much talk about whether this version of Bailey can truly be an asset on the field.
"It's early, but it would not be a shock if Bailey, who has just $500,000 guaranteed on his contract, doesn't make the team," Bedard writes. "The Saints have some promising young defensive backs who might have to be kept. Undrafted free agent Pierre Warren, for instance, was making plays all over the field."
It's worth noting that this passage is below a section of the article that entitled "STRONG OPINION THAT I MAY REGRET BY NOVEMBER." So it's hardly a guarantee that Bailey is not going to make the roster.
Still, this is how it ends for a lot of Hall of Fame players. The next generation arrives, and guys like Jerry Rice and Terrell Owens wind up losing camp battles to young players that you've never heard of. (Darius Watts made the 2005 Denver Broncos over Rice.)
Bailey might still have something to offer as a leader and a player that provides depth for the Saints secondary. But counting on him as a starter was probably always asking too much.