The Bailey brothers have dreamed of playing together in the NFL, the same as they did in college at the University of Georgia. Sources are saying that dream could become a reality if the Lions are willing to part with their 1st round pick, 6th overall.
The Redskins hands have been unable to get Bailey's signature on a long term deal. Bailey has made it clear he wants to play elsewhere, with his first choice being the Lions. Without that, they would have to sign him to a cap killing one-year $6.8 million tender offer and franchise him. The 'Skins have a little over $5 million in cap room.
Last year, owner Daniel Snyder gave big money bonus contracts to several players in free agency and now that is coming back to haunt the Redskins. New head coach Joe Gibbs would like to sign players that fit his scheme, but without a cap-friendly deal from Bailey, they won't have the space. Last month, Bailey turned down a nine-year, $55 million offer from the Redskins.
Washington was able to experience some cap relief when linebacker LaVar Arrington signed a long-term cap friendly deal, but the Redskins attempts to get more room from tackle Chris Samuels have been rebuffed. New head coach Joe Gibbs needs the room to acquire the services of former Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Mark Brunell.
The Associated Press reported that the Redskins have given Bailey permission to discuss a long term deal with any team that is interested in trying to acquire his services. Bailey has been given assurances by the Lions that they will be able to agree to a long term deal so that he and his brother will be able to finish their careers as Lions. Earlier, Detroit hired Bailey's position coach, George Catavalos, as their defensive backs coach, smoothing any transition from Washington to Detroit.
This weekend and as late as yesterday, the Redskins and the Lions were in "heavy negotiations" to come to an agreement for Bailey's services. Detroit has offered Washington two second round picks while the Redskins are asking for a first and a second round pick. Sources indicate Detroit's 6th overall pick in the first round could bring a deal.
For Detroit, they might be willing to make such a trade, feeling that in the combination of Bailey and last year's free agent acquisition, Pro Bowl corner Dre' Bly, they would have the best set of corners in the NFL. Detroit is currently eyeing safety Sean Taylor of Miami with that 6th pick, but with Brian Walker and Terrence Holt returning, they could probably afford to wait until 2005 to upgrade the safety position.