"We are excited to be able to add a future Hall of Fame player with the addition of Champ Bailey," Saints general manager Mickey Loomis said in a statement. "His career accomplishments mirror that of his high character and he's a very prideful and competitive player who we believe will add to our defense. Having spent time with him recently and in our discussions with him, I know that he's thrilled to be joining the New Orleans Saints and starting a new chapter in his professional life."
Although Bailey missed most of 2013 after suffering a preseason foot injury, the 15-year veteran told the Denver Post he expects to compete for a starting cornerback job in New Orleans, "That's where we're starting. That's all I wanted," Bailey said.
Bailey will make the jump from a Broncos defense that ranked 19th in the NFL last season to a Saints defense that ranked fourth overall, including second against the pass.
The 12-time Pro Bowler only played in five games last season, marking only the second time in Bailey's 15-year career that he's played in less than 10 games. The 35-year-old has been amazingly durable for a cornerback: Since 1999, Bailey has started in 13 or more games in 13 of his 15 NFL seasons.
Bailey's 12 Pro Bowl selections are the most in NFL history for any defensive back and the second most for any defensive player, trailing only Reggie White's 13 appearances.
New Orleans will be the third team that Bailey has played for since entering the league with the Redskins after being the seventh overall pick in the 1999 NFL Draft. After five seasons in Washington, Bailey was traded to the Broncos where he spent 10 seasons, before being cut last month.