That occasion should allow Denver Broncos’ fans a chance to pat the franchise on the back for allowing the Portis experience to happen in the nation’s capital. If Portis (the running back who hasn’t played since 2010, and who will retire as a Redskin on Thursday) is going to get a day in the spotlight, Champ Bailey should get his own year in Denver.
In early 2004, Denver traded Portis, who starred for the Broncos in his first two NFL seasons, to the Redskins for Bailey, an elite cornerback. The Redskins also threw in a 2004 second-round pick, which turned out to be running back Tatum Bell, who had minimal NFL success.
Portis had a good career in Washington. He's the second-leading rusher in team history and he had 26 100-yard games during his seven seasons in Washington.
Bailey, though, has been a great Bronco. He became the face of the franchise and when he goes in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he will be remembered as a Bronco. A class act off the field, Bailey will go down as one of the city of Denver’s all-time sports icons.
At the age of 34, he is still going strong for Denver and has three more years on his contract. Bailey told me this summer he has no timetable for his career, and because he is still improving in some aspects of the game (mostly mentally he said) he can see himself playing for several more years.
As Portis gets his day in Washington, Broncos fans should reflect what a special player they got in return for Portis.