Rumor Mill: Portis for Bailey

According to the rumor mill, Denver will send Clinton Portis to Washington for Champ Bailey and a draft pick in a trade largely motivated by contracts. Portis has two years left on his rookie contract and wants a new deal. And Bailey is going to be a very expensive limited free agent.

Denver is betting that there are more running backs where Clinton Portis came from. And with Terrell Davis, Olandis Gary, Mike Anderson and Clinton Portis for a track record, they just may be right. And I suspect they want to send a message about not renegotiating contracts.

But this trade worries me. I think that Denver is reading too much into their playoff drubbing at the hands of the Colts and not enough into their drubbing of the Colts just a few games before. Denver is tantalizingly close to the Super Bowl. And it’s easy to believe that one player can be the difference. But I think that championships are won when teams lift their game as a whole.

It will all come down to Bailey’s new contract. If Denver gets him with a cap friendly contract, then it’s good. And if not, then I think that it will be Mike Shanahan’s swan song as “The Mastermind”.