NFL Free Agent Rumors: Champ Bailey Meets With Saints; Will Smith Visits Patriots

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Champ Bailey

John O’Boyle/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports

The market has been slow to develop for former Denver Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey since his release at the start of the offseason. But it seems as if one team is beginning to show interest.

The veteran visited with the New Orleans Saints, according to ESPN, his first known visit of the offseason. Bailey, 35, reportedly has another visit lined up if things don’t work out with the Saints, though the report did not indicate which other team is interested.

Bailey previously stated a willingness to move to safety, but New Orleans is set in that area with free-agent addition Jairus Byrd and second-year player Kenny Vaccaro in place. The Saints could allow Bailey to start at corner opposite of Keenan Lewis to help replace Jabari Greer.

Former Saints defensive end Will Smith had a meeting with the New England Patriots Tuesday, according to ESPN. Smith, 32, was part of New Orleans’ first wave of cuts along with Roman Harper and Greer as the team tried to create cap room to franchise tag tight end Jimmy Graham.

Smith missed all of last season due to a torn ACL he sustained during the preseason. He was previously the Saints’ top pass rusher since being drafted in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft. His production has declined, though, in recent years. Smith has totaled 18 sacks since a career year in 2009. He would fit in as a situational pass-rusher behind Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich in New England.

Former Chicago Bears safety could be reuniting with his former head coach Lovie Smith soon. According to NFL Media reports, Wright visited with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tuesday and is expected to remain with the team into Wednesday.

The Bucs are already set at safety with former first-round pick Mark Barron and last offseason’s marquee free agent Dashon Goldson. But Wright started for three seasons under Smith before falling out of favor with the Bears’ new coaching regime. Wright could serve as a third safety if and when he signs with Tampa Bay.

Sam Spiegelman is a native New Yorker covering sports in New Orleans. He likes Game of Thrones way too much. Tweet him @samspiegs.