ENGLEWOOD • Denver Broncos receiver Eddie Royal used to be a Redskins fan. He was a senior in high school when his team made a blockbuster trade: cornerback Champ Bailey to the Broncos, running back Clinton Portis to the Redskins.
“I don’t even remember what I thought about it,” Royal said when asked what he thought about the trade.
The trade, which happened in March 2004, seems like a distant memory for many people as Bailey prepares to play at Washington for the first time. Only three players who played with Bailey in Washington remain with the Redskins.
Bailey has only one Denver teammate, guard Ben Hamilton, remaining since the day of the trade.
Bailey said he hears almost every day from Redskins fans who are remorseful he left. He said he has thought about how his career would have been different if the trade wasn’t made, but hasn’t reflected on that in a while.
“Seems like a long time ago,” Bailey said. “I’ve spent more time here than I did there.”
Portis won’t play against his former team. He suffered a concussion this week and has been ruled out.
Bailey said he is so far removed from his days with the Redskins, he doesn’t have many feelings about playing at Washington. He was once upset with the organization, but that has dissipated with time.
“I move on pretty quick,” Bailey said. “If they didn’t want me, I didn’t want to be there. It worked out for me.”