Prior to the 2004 season, the Broncos traded Portis to the Redskins for cornerback Champ Bailey and a second-round draft pick in the 2004 NFL Draft, which the Broncos used to select Tatum Bell (and Bell wore Portis's No. 26 in Denver).
The Redskins signed Portis to an eight-year contract worth $50.5 million. At that time, there were criticisms regarding the trade, namely that shut-down corners like Bailey were hard to come by and that adding a second-round pick for Portis was too much and one-sided.
In every single trade someone has to win in the end. So who was it? The Broncos or the Redskins? I live in Northern Virginia right now, where Redskins fans wear Clinton Portis's jersey the most. They are Broncos fans in Washington, and all of them for the most part wear Champ Bailey's Jersey.
The Pro Bowl
Champ Bailey has been a regular in Honolulu his entire career and his move to Denver didn't change anything. Bailey has been to the Pro Bowl eight times in his career and Portis has only gone to the Pro Bowl one time as a Denver Bronco. Going to Honolulu or not going shows not just what fans from other teams think of you, but the players and coaches of other teams.
Verdict: Champ Bailey
Neither of these guys look that good on paper, and it's pretty hard to compare the stats of a running back to a cornerback. When I look at Clinton Portis's numbers, he look like he'd be better off in Denver. His average YPG (yard per gain) pales in comparison to his two years in Denver.
In Denver his YPG was 5.5 both years. In Washington, it's been: 3.8, 4.3, 4.1, 3.9, and in 2008 it was 5.0.
Champ is 30 years old and has 43 interceptions over 10 years. That isn't a lot but when he retires he is on pace to have more interceptions than Deion Sanders, who only has 10 more interceptions than Champ. Having more interceptions than the greatest cornerback in the history of the game is pretty good.
Verdict: Champ Bailey
2008 and the Future
The future looks pretty bright for Clinton Portis. In 2008, he has a YPG of five yards and 995 yards and seven rushing touchdowns. Since we are halfway through the season, it's only fair if we double his yards and touchdowns to guess what the end of the year will be like. That's 1,990 yards and 14 touchdowns!
Fantasy experts across the country are already calling Clinton Portis the fantasy MVP. He also could win the NFL MVP with his only competition this season so far would be Drew Brees for those awards.
Champ Bailey only has one interception this year, so I have to go with Clinton Portis. Champ also isn't getting any younger. Clinton Portis is 27 and still has three more years of the prime of his career.
Verdict: Clinton Portis
It's now time for the Final Verdict. Which of these franchise players is better than the other.
Final Verdict: Champ Bailey may be struggling this year but he is so good I guarantee he will get into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on his first try. I can't do that for Clinton Portis. Even if he wins the MVP this year.