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Champ Bailey Rumor


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Lions interested in deal for Bailey

 

BY CURT SYLVESTER

FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER

 

The Washington Redskins are talking and Lions president Matt Millen is listening, but that doesn't mean Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey will be joining his younger brother -- linebacker Boss Bailey -- with the Lions soon.

 

Redskins owner Daniel Snyder is believed to be asking for the Lions' first and second-round picks in the NFL draft, as well as an additional draft pick or player, for Bailey.

 

Considering the Lions' many needs coming off a 5-11 season, it is doubtful Millen would be willing to give up that much, even for a four-time Pro Bowl cornerback who is only 25 years old.

 

But Millen indicated Sunday he is willing to continue discussions with Snyder and Bailey's agent, Jack Reale.

 

"If they want to talk, we'll gladly listen," Millen said. "And who knows where it goes? But, yeah, we'd be interested."

 

Bailey, due to become an unrestricted free agent March 3, is considered one of the NFL's best young cornerbacks. He turned down a nine-year, $55-million offer from the Redskins last summer and reportedly rejected a similar offer last week.

 

At that point, Snyder gave Reale permission to try to engineer a deal with interested teams and the Lions -- with an estimated $12.5 million in salary-cap room and a need for another quality cornerback -- are considered a prime candidate.

 

Although the move can be interpreted as a negotiating tactic, the Redskins might find themselves in a tight spot if they cannot sign or trade Bailey.

 

Their only recourse then would be to apply the franchise tag with a one-year offer of $6.8 million. Combined with linebacker LaVar Arrington's recent eight-year, $80-million contract extension, the Redskins would have little salary-cap flexibility to pursue the players new head coach Joe Gibbs needs for his rebuilding program.

 

There is no doubt Bailey would be a good fit with the Lions.

 

"He's as good a player as it gets," Millen said. "He's young, he's talented, he's got character. He's a lot of things.

 

"He's also expensive. There's a lot more to it than just, 'Hey, let's go get a good player.' "

 

If the Lions could find a way to land Bailey, however, it would be a major step in Millen's efforts to rebuild the defense.

 

With Bailey in the same secondary as Pro Bowler Dre' Bly -- Millen's free-agent prize from last season -- the Lions would be starting two of the NFL's best young cornerbacks.

 

They also would be starting one of the NFL's few brother combinations. Boss and Champ are extremely close and have discussed openly their hope to play together.

 

LINK

 

Could the Lions give up the 1st rounder giving Washington the chance to have BOTH K2 and Taylor?

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