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Champ Bailey: ‘Leaving the Redskins was the Best Thing to Happen to My Career’

by Chris Lingebach
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Cornerback Champ Bailey #24 of the Denver Broncos speaks to the media during Super Bowl XLVIII Media Day at the Prudential Center on January 28, 2014 in Newark, New Jersey. Super Bowl XLVIII will be played between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos on February 2. (Credit: Elsa/Getty Images)

Cornerback Champ Bailey #24 of the Denver Broncos speaks to the media during Super Bowl XLVIII Media Day at the Prudential Center on January 28, 2014 in Newark, New Jersey. Super Bowl XLVIII will be played between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos on February 2. (Credit: Elsa/Getty Images)

Chris Lingebach Chris Lingebach
Chris Lingebach is a writer for CBSDC.com, 1067thefandc.com, and blogs...
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Updated: Jan. 28, 2014 at 1:31 p.m.

It seems Champ Bailey was mirroring a similar sentiment of former Redskins kicker Graham Gano (now with the Panthers).

WASHINGTON (CBSDC) - The debate over who won the 2004 trade between the Redskins and Broncos, when the two teams swapped Clinton Portis and Champ Bailey, may never be fully resolved.

The Redskins gave up Bailey, who’d amassed 18 interceptions as one of the league’s youngest lockdown corners through his first five seasons, along with a 2nd-round pick to acquire Portis, who was perhaps the most promising young running back at the time, having carried the ball for more than 3,000 yards in his first two seasons alone. Portis later signed an eight-year, $50.5 million deal to keep him in Washington for eight seasons.

Both players had already made the Pro Bowl by the time deal was struck, and since, Bailey has appeared in the NFL’s all-star exhibition eight more times to Portis’ one.

You can say the Redskins may have given up too much, and Bailey’s continued dominance at his position, as he readies himself for his first Super Bowl appearance in his 15th season at age 35, makes the Broncos the clear-cut winners in the deal.

But you could also make the logical counterpoint that Portis filled an essential position in the Gibbs 2.0 offense, and his durability during most of his time in Washington gave the Redskins, a franchise with an historically bullish rushing attack, consistent production out of the backfield.

One person who does seem to have made up his mind on the deal, however, is Bailey (tweet via NBC’s Dianna Marie Russini):

Bear in mind, this is one tweet at least partially removed from the context, as the quote is detached from the question, but that is the 140-character nature of Twitter, and Bailey’s quote seems to be, if nothing else, at least a playful jab at the Skins.

Also, technically, working under the assumption the results would have been the same had time been reversed to assure that trade never went down (and that minor tweak to history didn’t force some violent alternate reality), then Bailey is correct. He would not be at the Super Bowl right now.

Just to show he doesn’t completely have it out for his former team:

Grant and Danny had this very discussion as the quote came across Twitter on Tuesday:

“I will be the only person presumably on these airwaves, and who calls in to talk about this, who has absolutely no problem with this comment,” Grant Paulsen said on 106.7 The Fan. “Zero. None.”

“I don’t think he’s wrong,” said Danny Rouhier in response. “But I don’t like hearing it.”

“I like what you did there. So you don’t have an issue with his comment?” Grant said.

“I don’t disagree,” Danny said. “Again, I don’t need you to say that. I don’t find fault with him. I said this the other day when we were sort of talking about Champ Bailey: I’m definitely not rooting for Champ Bailey.

“I am actually,” Grant said.

“I’m not rooting against Champ Bailey. I have forgotten Champ Bailey. Champ Bailey is a Denver Bronco who didn’t want to be here in Washington. That’s fine. Good riddance. Best of luck to you. Don’t let the door hit you in the butt on the way out. Enjoy your Denver time.”

Press play at the top to listen back.

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