Ten years ago, Len Pasquarelli of ESPN broke the following story:
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Washington Redskins, desperate to add a running back who can make a major impact on new coach Joe Gibbs' run-oriented offense, are discussing a blockbuster trade with the Denver Broncos that would give them one of the NFL's premier young backs.
The proposed deal, which percolated at the league's annual draft combine sessions this weekend, would send Denver's Clinton Portis to the Redskins in exchange for four-time Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey and possibly one of their 2004 draft picks.
The trade did happen, but it wasn't simply a player-for-player, blockbuster deal. As the Denver Post has noted, the Broncos also received Washington's second round draft selection. The pick: Tatum Bell.
Few would argue that Washington got the better end of this deal. As Mike Klis puts it, Bell made it a route.
Bell wound up having two very good years for the Broncos, rushing for 921 yards and 8 touchdowns on 5.3 yards per carry in 2005, when he teamed with Mike Anderson to give the Broncos the best tailback duo in the NFL, and then added 1,025 yards on 4.4 yards per carry in 2006.
Bell made this trade a Broncos route.
Gray Caldwell of the team's official site wrote a detailed story of the trade last October (it'd definitely worth the read). In short, Bailey played ten years in Denver, earning five Pro Bowl selections. Portis played seven seasons in Washington, earning one Pro Bowl berth.
Portis was a great running back, but he did not dominate her era, ala a Terrell Davis or Adrian Peterson. Bailey, on the other hand, was without question one of the best cornerbacks to ever play the game. Denver robbed Washington on a player-for-player basis and landed a productive replacement running back to boot.
We know the answer, but we'll run a poll anyway: Who won the 2004 Portis/Bailey trade?