Denver Broncos: Would Bailey-Portis trade happen in today’s NFL?
On this day seventeen years ago, the Denver Broncos made one of the biggest trades in team history.
That trade involved Denver Broncos running back Clinton Portis heading to the Washington Football Team for cornerback Champ Bailey and a second-round draft pick. Bailey had just completed his fifth season in the NFL at the time.
The NFL doesn’t necessarily have “shutdown corners” anymore. Bailey was one of the last. The game has just changed so much over the years.
What has also changed is the compensation it takes to acquire big names in today’s NFL.
Now, I realize that we are talking about cornerbacks and running backs, but what about quarterbacks?
Enter Deshaun Watson.
We know that Deshaun Watson isn’t technically up on the trade block from the Houston Texans, but he is disgruntled, causing people to wonder what it would take to acquire his rights out of Houston.
It is speculated that the Texans would want something in the range of four first-round picks, a couple of second-round picks, and a defensive starter or two.
Boy oh boy, that is a lot.
Speaking of Bailey and Watson, the Hall of Fame cornerback is one in favor of that trade.
Let’s take a look at another trade that happened recently, involving a top cornerback.
Darius Slay wanted out of Detroit and got his wish when he was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for a third-round pick as well as a fifth-round pick.
Circling back to the Bailey and Portis trade, the fact of the matter is that running backs were much more valuable back then. Meanwhile, in today’s passing league, cornerbacks are crucial. The difference today is because of the rulebook. Defensive backs just aren’t allowed to do everything they once were allowed to do.
Perhaps the biggest trade of the 2020 season did involve a running back, however. The Houston Texans acquired running back David Johnson, a fourth-round pick and a second-round pick from the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, and a fourth-round pick.
The similarities between the Texans and Washington Football Team start with ownership.
It’s unfortunate to say but the Texans have been a laughing stock because of their decision-making, general manager situation, and ownership.
The same can be said about the Washington Football Team’s ownership.
Sure, that trade possibly made sense for Washington back then, but looking back, the Broncos clearly won that trade.
Back to the original question: Would this trade happen in today’s NFL?
I would say that there probably would be a lot added to each side’s compensation. If you figure that both players are currently the same age as they were as of the trade (Bailey, 26 and Portis 23), the value is probably drastically different due to a reason I mentioned above: the changing of the league.
Women belong in sports: The Ladies of Broncos Country
Predominantly Orange writers Nicholas Manning and Shelby Manning chat with a multitude of women in Broncos Country, who share lots of wisdom.
Cornerbacks are going to be the more important piece to a team than a running back. Even with the potential for other possible compensation, the Denver Broncos would have still won this trade had it happened today.