For all the contributions Mike Shanahan made to the Denver Broncos, few will choose to remember him for his genius personnel decisions. With train-wreck acquisitions like Daryl Gardner, Dale Carter, Willie Middlebrooks, and Maurice Clarett (among others), there’s a broad swath of poor player choices for which to criticize Shanahan. However, the 2004 trade that sent Clinton Portis to Washington in exchange for Champ Bailey isn’t one of them.
First of all, it wasn’t a straight up, player-for-player trade. What most Broncos fans have forgotten was that in addition to Champ Bailey, Washington sent a 2nd round pick to Denver in exchange for Portis. That second round pick turned out to be running back Tatum Bell who ended up playing four seasons in Denver.
At the time, Broncos fans, already enamored with Clinton Portis, were concerned about sending their stud running back to Washington for a corner who wasn’t as well known. To quote his wikipedia page:
Portis rushed for over 1,500 yards in each of his first two seasons with the Broncos, averaging 5.5 yards per carry in that span. The latter is an NFL record for a running back’s first two seasons. On December 15, 2002, Portis became the youngest player (21 years, 105 days) to score 4 touchdowns in a game in a 31-24 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. The very next season on December 7, 2003, Portis became the youngest player (22 years, 97 days) to score 5 touchdowns in a game in a 45-27 victory, which also happened against Kansas City.
Drafted by the Redskins in 1999, Champ notched Pro Bowl appearances in four of his five seasons and was selected 2nd Team All Pro in 2000. At the time, Broncos Country had every right to be suspicious of the trade.
Of course, concerns were quickly put to rest with Champ’s play on the field. In his first game as a Bronco, Champ hauled in his first interception during the Monday Night Football opener against the Chiefs. The rest, as they say is history.
As a Denver Bronco, Champ went to eight more pro bowls (2004-2007 and 2009-2012), was selected first team all pro three times (2004-2006), selected second team all pro two more times (2007, 2012), was the NFL interceptions leader in 2006, was selected to the all-NFL 2000’s team, selected to the Denver Broncos 50th Anniversary team, and, just a few months ago, was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame and will be enshrined forever in Canton in August. Champ will join the Broncos ring of fame this October during the Titans game in Denver. He was a fan favorite, a perennial pro, and rightfully has gone down as the greatest corner in Denver Broncos history.
These accolades aren’t to diminish Clinton Portis’ career in Washington. As Champ was beloved in Denver, Portis and his colorful characters he portrayed at press conferences were embraced by Redskins fans. Portis was selected 2nd team all pro and given a pro bowl nod in 2008. At his retirement, it was was announced that he was selected to an elite group of 80 Greatest Redskins. He ended up just 77-yards short of 10,000 all time.
Who cares who “won” the trade. Portis was a great Bronco while he was in Denver, but Champ was an all-timer the likes of which doesn’t come around all that often. Broncos Country was lucky to have him and fans should feel especially proud when Champ stands on that stage in Canton and unveils the bust that will represent him in the hall for the rest of time.
James Palmer highlights the 'unprecedented' aspect of Denver Broncos cornerback Chris Harris' updated contract [Video]
NFL Network's James Palmer breaks down Denver Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr.'s restructured contract.
Chris Harris: I'll give Broncos 'fair chance' to keep me - NFL.com
After agreeing to a one-year adjustment on his salary, Chris Harris plans to give the Broncos every opportunity to keep him when it's time to discuss a new deal.
Man accused of flying drone at Broncos game in Oakland charged | FOX31 Denver
SAN FRANCISCO — A man accused of using a drone to drop anti-media leaflets on crowds at two NFL games in the San Francisco Bay Area was charged with violating national defense airspace regulations, federal authorities said Wednesday.
Giants’ 90-man roster: Punter Riley Dixon coming off good season - Big Blue View
Dixon has company in the form of Ryan Anderson, but does he really have competition
'It was my fault': Former Badgers football star Montee Ball overcomes alcoholism, depression
Ball's life began to spiral out of control in Madison during his sophomore year.
Jordan Taylor getting more chances to be the Vikings’ No. 3 receiver
The former Denver Broncos wide receiver seems to be getting plenty of chances to impress the Minnesota Vikings during OTAs this year.
Chad Kelly goes from living in parents’ basement to Colts’ roster – The Buffalo News
Chad Kelly’s words painted the picture of someone who had been humbled.
After throwing away his first chance to play quarterback in the NFL, with the Denver …
Peyton Manning’s comment doesn’t mean Jets didn’t want him – ProFootballTalk
Retired NFL quarterback Peyton Manning said Wednesday that the Jets never contacted him about the team's vacant G.M. job. And I believe that. But the fact that the team didn't directly contact Peyton Manning doesn't mean that an effort wasn't made through back channels to gauge his interest.
Jay Gruden wants his brother on “Hard Knocks” – ProFootballTalk
Both teams coached by members of the Gruden family can be forced to appear on this year's edition of Hard Knocks and Washington head coach Jay Gruden made a suggestion to producers on Wednesday.
8 reasons why the Raiders need to be on ‘Hard Knocks’ for 2019 season - SBNation.com
Jon Gruden? AB? Vontaze Burfict? This could be the drama HBO has been looking for since Season 6 of "Game of Thrones".
Incognito pleaded guilty in connection with separate August 2018 incident – ProFootballTalk
A suspension for Richie Incognito is looking more and more likely. As it turns out, Incognito faced not one but two criminal cases last August. In addition to an incident at a funeral home that resulted in a guilty plea to disorderly conduct charges, Incognito engaged in misconduct at his grandmo...
Report: NFL could push for 18-game schedule in labor talks – ProFootballTalk
The NFL could seek an 18-game regular season or an expanded playoff field in a new labor deal, Mark Maske of the Washington Post reports. In return, Maske says, many owners are willing to offer players concessions to the commissioner's disciplinary authority and to the marijuana policy.
Chargers coach says Hunter Henry 'looks good' in rehab from torn ACL, team expects him ready for season - CBSSports.com
Henry is now a year removed from his injury and Anthony Lynn says he should be ready to go
Giants rookie Corey Ballentine back on the field a month after being injured in shooting - CBSSports.com
Ballentine was injured in a draft-night shooting that resulted in the death of a friend and teammate
Marcus Peters, who's eligible for an extension, says a new contract 'will take care of itself' - CBSSports.com
The Rams traded a premium pick for Peters last offseason but have yet to extend his contract
Free agent Gerald McCoy, who was reportedly deciding between two teams, is now visiting a third - CBSSports.com
McCoy has visited the Browns and Ravens this week, and will now visit the Panthers
Terrelle Pryor reportedly works out for Jaguars after disappointing with three teams over last two years - CBSSports.com
Pryor spent the last two years with Washington, Buffalo and the New York Jets
Robert Saleh says defense is the same, even if the alignment up front is different – ProFootballTalk
The 49ers have incorporated the Wide 9 alignment along the defensive line. The rush-conducive positioning of the linemen won't be altering the way the team's defense is played, however.
Ravens owner -- QB Jackson will run less in 2019
Team owner Steve Bisciotti said the vision of the Ravens organization is to build the squad around quarterback Lamar Jackson.
Witten - 'Anxious to go prove' he can still play
Cowboys tight end Jason Witten, who is making a return to the playing field after a year in the broadcast booth, is "anxious to go prove" he still can play in the NFL.
Kyle Rudolph still thinks “there’s a way” to remain with Vikings – ProFootballTalk
Kyle Rudolph and the Vikings still haven't come to an agreement on the tight end's future. The sides have discussed a five-year contract extension, Rudolph confirmed last week. Rudolph has said he won't accept a pay cut from the $7.5 million he is scheduled to make in 2019.
Nick Foles’ wife, Tori, recovering from miscarriage – ProFootballTalk
Ordinarily, I wouldn't post this. But both Tori and Nick Foles have disclosed the situation on social media, and it already was known that Foles would be absent this week from OTAs, with Jaguars coach Doug Marrone extending "thoughts and prayers" to the family.
Kyler Murray is staying patient with the process – ProFootballTalk
The Cardinals drafted Kyler Murray No. 1 overall to be their quarterback of the future. Their trade of Josh Rosen made Murray the Cardinals' quarterback of the present.
Montez Sweat signs his rookie deal – ProFootballTalk
Washington has both of its first-round picks under contract. The team announced that edge rusher Montez Sweat signed his rookie deal on Wednesday. He and quarterback Dwayne Haskins, who signed earlier this month along with seven other draft picks, signed four-year deals with a team option for a f...
Khalil Mack wants to be the best ever – ProFootballTalk
Bears pass rusher Khalil Mack isn't secretive about having aspirations to be the best. Mack was asked today about Bears outside linebackers coach Ted Monachino saying that Mack wants to be the best ever, and Mack said that's "absolutely" how he feels.
OBJ buys customized orange Rolls-Royce
Odell Beckham Jr.'s has purchased a tricked-out, orange Rolls-Royce complete with a pop-up hood ornament that features a miniaturized model of him in a Browns uniform making one of the one-handed catches he became known for while with the Giants.
Injuries: Trey Burton underwent sports hernia surgery - NFL.com
Coach Matt Nagy confirmed Wednesday that tight end Trey Burton is still recovering after undergoing sports hernia surgery a couple of months prior and will not be participating in OTAs.
Todd Gurley planning to play closer to 218 lbs in 2019 - NFL.com
The Los Angeles Rams are taking it easy with Todd Gurley's knee this offseason. The plan is to have the running back shed a few pounds to play lighter this season.