Denver’s lack of interest in Jason Campbell paid a large part in the Broncos opting to trade unhappy quarterback Jay Cutler to the Bears instead of the Redskins on April 3.
So while the Broncos’ Nov. 15 visit to FedExField won’t mark the return of Campbell, who’ll presumably still be quarterbacking the Redskins, the game will be the first in Washington as an opponent for Champ Bailey.
The perennial Pro Bowl cornerback was the last first-round draft choice of former Redskins general manager Charley Casserly in 1999. Bailey was an instant starter opposite Hall of Famer Darrell Green and helped the Redskins end a 6-year playoff drought and win their only NFC East title since 1991.
Bailey was chosen for the Pro Bowl the next four years. Only Green (seven) and current offensive tackle Chris Samuels (six) were honored more often in a Washington uniform during the past 33 years.
However, the Redskins’ failure to get Bailey signed to a new, long-term contract led to his trade to the Broncos (along with a second-round pick) for running back Clinton Portis in March 2004.
While Portis has been very good for the Redskins, who were desperate for a running back back then (their leading rusher was Turng Canidate), and Bailey’s expensive replacement, Shawn Springs, played well when healthy the past five years, neither was as terrific as Bailey has been for Denver.
And when Bailey is elected to the Hall of Fame sometime in the next decade, it will be as a Bronco, not a Redskin. And that’s another black mark on Dan Snyder’s ownership.
— David Elfin