One of the big potential free agents this offseason was Denver Broncos CB Champ Bailey. I thought it was possible that they could part ways with their great cornerback, but instead he was signed to a four-year contract. Broncos fans seem very happy, and it was further reported that his contract was for $43 million with $15 million guaranteed.
That could make him the second highest paid cornerback based on average salary behind CB Darrelle Revis. He might slip a spot after CB Nnamdi Asomugha signs somewhere for more. And both he and Asomugha are much more expensive than CB Tramon Williams.
Last November, Williams signed for the same number of years (four) as Bailey, and received a similar amount in guaranteed money. His extension wasn't explicitly guaranteed like Bailey's, but it was front loaded, as JS Online reported, and it was set to raise his salary in 2010 with an easy to reach roster bonus in 2011. Which means his extension will have paid him approximately $15 million within a couple of months. The big difference is that Williams is scheduled to make in total about $10 million less than Bailey.
Bailey's several years older, so it's possible that the Broncos have little intention of paying him for all four years under this contract. With Williams entering the prime of career, on a contract that will pay him on average $2.5 million less than Bailey per season, it seems like a value. JS Online also reported that Williams was only the 16th highest cornerback upon signing his extension. At this point I'd put him ahead of or right with any of the cornerbacks who are paid more than him. It's a lot of money, but his extension looks like a good deal for the Packers.