The Washington Redskins are celebrating their 80th season, and 106.7 The Fan is marking the occasion by ranking the 80 greatest players in franchise history.
The Best of the Burgundy and Gold is a comprehensive ranking based on the opinions of an esteemed panel of Redskins experts… Former Redskins GM Charlie Casserly, 106.7 The Fan blogger and NFL Hall of Fame voter Dave Elfin, former Washington Post writer Len Shapiro, and Ernie Bauer (former Sports Director of Channel 9, 5, and CSN) made up the panel. Sports radio legend Ken Beatrice also consulted the project, and provides commentary throughout the list.
It was controversy again with the morning crew, this time over the announcement of numbers 25-21 on the Best of the Burgundy and Gold list. The Sports Junkies did not take issue so much with the merit of two of the players named to the great 80, but rather if they spent enough time as members of the Redskins to even be remembered by and large as Redskins at the end of their careers.
25. Champ Bailey
24. Charles Mann
23. Chris Samuels
22. Bill Dudley
21. Paul Krause
Paul Krause, a Hall of Fame defensive back in the NFL from 1964-1979, certainly cannot have his value questioned, setting an NFL record for 81 career interceptions. The eyebrows raise after taking a quick glance at his career numbers, after noticing that he only spent his first four seasons in Washington, followed by 12 years as a Minnesota Viking.
Then there’s Champ Bailey, whose level of talent does not need to be rehashed to any Redskins fans born before the year 1990. Bailey was drafted 7th overall out of the University of Georgia by Washington in 1999, and posted a whopping 18 interceptions in his first 5 seasons. Any Redskins fan who sees this name pop up as the 25th greatest Redskin of all-time can tell you why Champ Bailey doesn’t fit. He only played 5 seasons in Washington, before being moved in a trade that still leaves many fans with a bitter taste in their mouths.
Prior to the 2004 season, the Redskins fan favorite was dealt to the Denver Broncos, along with a 2nd-round pick for stud young running back Clinton Portis. Bailey has played the following 8 seasons in Denver, proclaiming himself in each of those seasons as a premier shutdown corner in the NFL with a total of 32 interceptions in that span. While Washington fans were forced for years to watch Champ stake his claim as one of the greatest cornerbacks of all-time, it is if nothing else, arguable that he never staked his claim as one of the elite Redskins of all-time.
Champ Bailey, in short, is a Bronco.