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Portis for Bailey?

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout' started by drapg, Feb 23, 2004.

  1. drapg

    drapg Member

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    Talk about a fantasy football trade gone bad!


    INDIANAPOLIS -- Desperate to land a tailback who could make a major impact in new coach Joe Gibbs' run-oriented offense, the Washington Redskins are in discussions about a blockbuster trade that would bring them one of the NFL's premier young backs.


    The proposed deal, which percolated here over the weekend at the annual draft combine sessions, would net the Redskins tailback Clinton Portis, who rushed for over 1,500 yards in each of his first two seasons with the Denver Broncos. In return for Portis, 22, Denver would receive Redskins four-time Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey and perhaps one of Washington's choices in the 2004 draft.


    In a Sunday column, The Denver Post first posed such a trade, but the deal is more than just a fantasy football-type suggestion. Officials from both teams, and agents for the two high-profile veterans, worked arduously over the weekend to nudge the swap much closer to reality.


    One point of contention: In addition to Bailey, the Broncos are asking for Washington's second-round choice in this year's draft. At this point, at least, the Redskins are reluctant to part with that selection but that hesitancy could change at any time.


    Said one source who is intimately involved in the delicate negotiations late Sunday night: "You definitely need to stay close on this one. There's a whole lot going on. There are a few sticking points but, if you asked me will it get done, I'd tell you, yeah, I think so."


    Two player agents representing running backs who will become unrestricted free agents next month separately told ESPN.com they approached Washington officials over the weekend to make a pitch for their clients. Both agents assumed that, with the Redskins in need of a back to bolster the power running game Gibbs prefers, they might be able to fuel some interest in their clients.


    Both were apprised by Washington officials that the Redskins were on the verge of a blockbuster transaction that would bring the team a premier tailback. "One of their top officials basically told me that, while my guy is a good player, they had something else going at tailback and that it was huge," said one of the agents.


    In his first meeting with quarterback Mark Brunell, who will officially be acquired by the Redskins via trade on March 3, when the league's trade moratorium is lifted, Gibbs told the veteran that Washington would definitely add a big-time running back before the start of summer training camp. The Gibbs-designed offense dictates a hard inside runner and has succeeded in the past with players of lesser talent than Portis possesses. The slashing Portis, though, would be a terrific fit for the Redskins, league coaches agreed here.


    Should the deal be consummated -- and, despite some hurdles, several league and team sources acknowledged they expect it to happen -- it could not be officially announced until March 3 as well. Such a trade would dramatically reshape the Washington offense from what it was during the two-year tenure of former coach Steve Spurrier.


    The trade would certainly permit each of the teams to fill a need.


    The Broncos have been seeking a true "shut-down" cornerback for years and Bailey, just 25 years of age and regarded as one of the NFL's premier cover players, clearly fits that description. From the Washington standpoint, there are no veteran tailbacks currently on the roster who can handle the workhorse role Gibbs needs to fill.


    A second-round choice in the 2002 draft, Portis took over the starting job as a rookie, ran for 1,508 yards and 15 touchdowns, and the former University of Miami star was named the league's rookie of the year. He followed up that freshman performance in 2003 by rushing for 1,591 yards and 14 touchdowns. Denver officials were initially reluctant to part with Portis but feel they can compensate for his departure.


    The Broncos staff was impressed with a pair of 2003 rookies, Quentin Griffin and Ahmaad Galloway, and Denver has historically been able to plug in young runners and have immediate success with them. Plus the Broncos understand that to add a player of Bailey's stature, they must reciprocate with a big-time performer.


    The proposed trade goes beyond just football needs, however, and extends out to some contractual considerations.


    As a rookie, Portis signed a four-year contract that included a $1.29 million signing bonus but only minimum annual base salaries. His scheduled base salaries for the last two years of the deal are $380,000 in 2004 and $455,000 for 2005. At the Pro Bowl two weeks ago, Portis suggested he might boycott training camp unless his contract was upgraded and his comments did not sit well with Broncos management.


    The Redskins two weeks ago determined they could not meet Bailey's contract demands and granted the five-year veteran and former first-round draft choice permission to speak with other teams about a possible trade. Since then, the Redskins have designated Bailey a "franchise" player, the equivalent of making him a one-year qualifying offer worth $6.801 million.


    Obviously, for a trade to be consummated, Bailey, ostensibly a limited free agent, would have to sign a new contract. And the Redskins certainly will not acquire Portis without first addressing his contractual grievances. Agents for both players have been working with the Redskins and Broncos on new contracts for their clients.


    In other Broncos news, running back Mike Anderson has reportedly requested his release after the team sugggested cutting his salary.


    According to the Rocky Mountain News, Denver wants to cut Anderson's 2004 salary from $1.76 million to the veteran minimum, $535,000, plus incentives.


    David Canter, Anderson's agent, told the paper that his client would prefer to become a free agent than accept a significant pay cut.


    Anderson, the 2000 NFL Rookie of the Year, had five touchdowns last year, with 257 rushing yards and 53 receiving yards.

     
  2. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    Big mistake from the Bronco's perspective, I think.
     
  3. rrj_gamz

    rrj_gamz Contributing Member

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    I think this is fine, as I think anyone can do well with the Broncos O-Line...
     
  4. Manny Ramirez

    Manny Ramirez The Music Man

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    Why is that a mistake?

    As much as I love Portis (since he is a former Cane), Shanahan's system has proven time and time again, that anyone who has some ability can run for a thousand yards.

    You don't think that Quentin Griffin can run for a 1,000 yards behind the Broncos O-Line and their run-blocking schemes?

    Then ask yourself this - how many true "shut-down" corners are there in the NFL? If Charles Woodson is healthy, he is one and then you have Champ.

    The Broncos have NEVER had a DB like that. I would do that deal, especially if Portis continues this threat of possibly holding out.
     
  5. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    i don't disagree entirely....i'm totally with you that the Broncos seem to churn out really good RB's in that system. But I think Portis is a notch above...and remember the last time the Broncos had a real "notch above" RB they won a Super Bowl. I recognize that all things aren't equal...but Portis a gamebreaker, and a young one at that. Griffin may go for 1,000...but Portis might go for 2,000.
     
  6. drapg

    drapg Member

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    It's got to be a negotiating ploy on both sides. Bailey has refused to resign and so has Portis. Perhaps a threat to be shipped to the opposite end of the country would make these guys sign on the dotted line?
     
  7. Lil Pun

    Lil Pun Contributing Member

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    I agree with everything said here. Remember when Denver RBs kept getting injured and they would throw another in there and he would go for 1,000 yards? Davis, then Gary, then Anderson, then Portis, next??? Denver has always had hard hitting CBs like Atwater but never one that can shut down the other team's premiere receiver. This looks good for both sides
     
  8. Manny Ramirez

    Manny Ramirez The Music Man

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    True, Portis may be better than Davis (definitely better than Olandis Gary, Mike Anderson, or anyone else) but the Broncos have always been notoriously weak on defense, especially in the secondary.

    If you could have someone running for 1,500 to 1,800 yards a season and a mediocre secondary or someone running for a 1,000 to 1,300 yards and an above average secondary, I would take the latter.

    Portis couldn't help stop Peyton Manning and his ridiculous performance in the playoffs; however, Champ Bailey might have.
     
  9. drapg

    drapg Member

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    I don't think rushing for 1,000 yards can be considered as big a milestone as in years passed. MadMax is right. Portis is a gamebreaker and a step above Gary and Anderson. He is a Davis-like talent who could help lead the Broncos back to the promised land.

    Quentin Griffin and his tiny stature just doesn't seem to be the answer.

    Perhaps the debacle at Indy in the playoffs made Shanahan think he needed a top notch CB? But to give up Portis? Not a good move in my book, unless they are planning to turn that extra 2nd round pick into Maurice Clarett????
     
  10. Manny Ramirez

    Manny Ramirez The Music Man

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    drapg,

    I still disagree. Portis is a great talent but so is Champ Bailey. The Broncos could continue to do what they are doing now, being mainly an offensive team and try to plug holes on defense and hope that they can find some diamonds in the rough. But by doing that, they risk what happened to them in Indy.

    Name me 5 true shut-down corners and then see how many top RBs you can name.

    I will be surprised if you can come up with 5 corners, but RBs, you have Portis, James, Holmes, Stephen Davis, Fred Taylor, Jamal Lewis, Eddie George, Ricky Williams, etc.

    When you have the chance to get one of the very best at a position that doesn't have a lot of great ones, you do it and roll the dice that Griffin or someone else steps it up at RB.

    Oh and God no, they better not get that punk Clarett. If they get that asshole, I will quit rooting for the Broncos. They might as well search out all the dumpsters, if they are thinking about that.
     
  11. drapg

    drapg Member

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    So, as a Broncos fan, would you like to see Griffen get the starting job or would you rather draft a RB in April, like Clarett, Jones, or Jackson?
     
  12. Manny Ramirez

    Manny Ramirez The Music Man

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    Why in the hell would you draft Clarett? Because you bought into his hype?

    I mean he didn't even play a full season in college because of injuries. His one true showcase game, the Fiesta Bowl, he didn't do sh!t against the Canes (he came up with a highly dubious fumble recovery against my boy, Sean Taylor).

    Then he shows up out-of-shape and blows off running a 40? I just can't see Shanahan being that dumb to draft this kid, regardless of what round it is.

    Greg Jones or Kevin Jones would be nice and I guess Jackson is okay; however, Shanahan always gets his RB in the mid-rounds (Portis was an exception by going in the 2nd round). Terrell Davis was in the 6th round, Mike Anderson was around there (I think or he might have been 3rd or 4th round), and Gary was mid-round, as well.

    Give the starter's job to Griffin, draft a RB OTHER than Clarett in the 4th to 6th round, and have him push Griffin in camp.
     
  13. drapg

    drapg Member

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    No, no, no.

    I am not a Clarett fan. In fact, I can't stand him. I just didn't know what your stand was on him, and whether he was a viable option for your team.

    Personally, I just don't see Griffen as an every-down back. I don't think he can take the punishment.
     
  14. Mr.Scary

    Mr.Scary Member

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    As a Raider fan I will be thrilled to see Portis go :D

    Honestly, Denver will lose a bit in the running game as far as breakaway plays, they will still have a thousand yard rusher behind that line (ANY decent back can get 1000 behind Denvers line) but overall will probably still be better with the addition of Bailey who fills a glaring weakness for them.

    I also heard there were talks about Sean Alexander for Bailey.
     
  15. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    Manny --

    but there are other places to get defensive backs without throwing away one of the best offensive players in the game today. you can strengthen your secondary without losing an all-pro. teams do that all the time...particularly in a league where free agency is so heavy. pick up some young DB's in the draft...recruit some free agents...but don't give up Portis for a defensive back...i don't care how good the defensive back is.
     
  16. Manny Ramirez

    Manny Ramirez The Music Man

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    Durability is definitely a question I have for Griffin; but I have to have faith that Shanahan knows what he is doing if he does deal Portis for Champ and makes Q the starter.

    One way or another, the Broncos have to get better on defense if they want to be a serious playoff contender.
     
  17. Nuggets4

    Nuggets4 Contributing Member

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    The Broncos are VERY high on Ahmad Galloway, our 7th round pick from Alabama last year. Also, they are planning on releasing Mike Anderson.

    I like the deal. Clinton's whined like a little punk ever since day #1 that he signed that contract. Do the deal Broncos.
     
  18. Manny Ramirez

    Manny Ramirez The Music Man

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    But Max, that is the PROBLEM; Shanahan has been doing exactly what you said and it hasn't worked.

    He drafted Deltha O'Neal and Willie Middlebrooks in the first round to be starters at CB and neither one is a starter now. O'Neal was a pro bowler at one time and now he is a bench scrub. Middlebrooks has been a colossal bust and will probably never be better than a nickelback in his career.

    And they have gone out and gotten free agents like Denard Walker, Lenny Walls, and a long time ago, the talented, but troubled Dale Carter. But none of those guys worked out in the long run.

    And all those names that I have mentioned, with the exception of Carter, do not have the talent in their body that Champ Bailey has in his pinky finger.

    I liken it to supply and demand, somewhat. The demand for a great CB is high, but the supply is low. That is not the case with RBs - supply is plentiful there. Granted, Portis is up there at the top, but once again, I would rather have someone who can run for 1,000 to 1,300 yards with the #1 CB in the league than someone who can run for 1,500 to 1,800 yards with a below average secondary.
     
  19. Rocketman95

    Rocketman95 Hangout Boy

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    All of the sudden, I really want to see Denver draft Clarett, then have him wear his OSU National Championship t-shirt at the press conference.

    It'd be the mother of all meltdowns by our favorite clubhouse cancer! :D
     
  20. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    i guess we'll just agree to disagree...i don't think getting a champ bailey and losing clinton portis necessarily helps this team. it seems that teams improve defensively all the time, without giving up offensive powerhouses. if shannahan has failed at doing that through the draft, then that's his bad...but the job can be done that way. it is all the time.
     

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