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Posted at 7:35 AM ET, 02/28/2011

Clinton Portis: 'Another back is gonna steal the hearts of fans'

By Cindy Boren

Updated at 2:15 p.m.

The Redskins have announced that they have released Clinton Portis.

"Clinton provided excitement from the very first time he touched the ball as a Redskin and we were lucky to witness every ounce of energy, effort and passion he has given ever since," Redskins owner Daniel M. Snyder said in a statement released by the team. "We have been through a lot both on and off of the field and we would like to wish him and his family the very best. He will always be a Redskin and go down as one of the franchise's all-time greats."

Updated at 11:46 a.m.

Asked about his future with the Redskins, Clinton Portis said, "I should be released today," in an interview with Mike Wise and Holden Kushner on 106.7 The Fan.

An introspective Portis opened up on his time in DC and, in a 33-minute interview, said that he had given "everything I had to the city of Washington" and added that here, there's "nothing left me to prove."

Portis was asked about the drama that accompanied his time in D.C. "One of the biggest reasons for why my time is up in D.C.: the drama and the issues, the back and forth with teammates."

For Portis now, "it's not about the money for me at this stage of my career, it's about winning." As for John Riggins' team rushing record: "If the record meant that much, I think I could have stayed in D.C. to get it."

Portis spoke of Joe Gibbs' leadership and his own growth and maturation. Asked what he has left -- a house? -- in D.C., Portis said, "Memories." Many of those are of his close friend Sean Taylor, and he admitted that he lost some of his passion when Taylor died.

"Maybe I left something in that stadium [FedEx Field] that will carry on with people for some time."

Portis was philosophical about the transitory nature of NFL jobs. "No one is irreplaceable...Enjoy as much as you can and when it's time for you to move on, be ready." Whether it's Keiland Williams or Ryan Torain, "another back is gonna come along and steal the hearts of fans."

On a lighter note, Portis admits that the sale of his house, which is on the market, has been slowed by the presence of his well-documented stripper pole. (Perhaps his real estate agent should say it's a fireman's pole.) "The husbands love it. Then the wives go through."

And Janky Panky is his personal favorite of all his characters.

Afterward, Kushner tweeted, "We had to dump Portis when he said, "There's no part of me that still doesn't think I'm the baddest [um, expletive] on the field."

Filed at 7:35 a.m.

The release of Clinton Portis by the Washington Redskins would hardly qualify as a surprise and, according to ESPN, that move could come as early as today. Still, it would mark the end of an era in Washington, an era of mixed results.

Mike Shanahan was up front about the move at the NFL combine last Friday and didn't completely close the door on a return by Portis. "With a guy with a high salary cap, I've always dealt with it a little differently," Shanahan said, via Mike Jones at Redskins Insider. "If we're not going to sign Clinton to that high salary, I'll let him test the market out. Not to say we don't want him, but for a lower price, and obviously we'll try to find the best deal. It could happen. I don't want to say right now. If I said that, usually I'm being pretty honest with you. Could be two days from now, could be three days from now."

After a season of injuries and questions about his decline, Portis seemed to accept his fate ages ago. "If it's time to move on, I'll do that," Portis told 106.7 The Fan last week. "I'm appreciative of everything they've done for me. I had a good time and enjoyed myself."

The NFL may Thelma and Louise off a cliff this week, so there may be bigger stories than Portis' future. But, for Redskins fans, his release would be significant. If Portis is indeed out in DC, how would you feel about that? And, if the Redskins could retain him at a lower salary, how would you feel about that? He's been wonderfully entertaining and gutsy and great, at his peak, but I think it's time to be done with him altogether.


Reaction, via Twitter:

@jasonwoodmansee: Clinton Portis, I will miss you. Well, the 2004-2005 version of you, mostly. But still.

@jaredames23: Sad. Good run but no titles.

@in2Housing: It's a young man's game! #redskins

@d_ericsson: A shame as at his peak he's been a strong performer, but given decline and salary I think they're making the right choice now.

@rd421: its sad he was a great redskin and I will have great memories of him Sean and tana in 05 #Portis #Redskins

Tailgate Zone: How will you remember Portis?

Top 5 moments: A Hogs Haven list and farewell

By Cindy Boren  | February 28, 2011; 7:35 AM ET
Categories:  Clinton Portis, Redskins  
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Clinton always dug for the extra yards. Too bad he didn't get the Skins yardage record.

Posted by: jimward21 | February 28, 2011 8:18 AM | Report abuse

When he was at his peak, he was a fearless, all-out player. And even when he wasn't, whether because of injuries, age, or unwillingness to practice, he was very good in pass pro.

Posted by: Cindy Boren | February 28, 2011 8:27 AM | Report abuse

@jimward21: Not to discount your feelings, but Portis was too much about himself, with his (imo) idiotic costumes and such. I didn't find him to be a team player, so I'm glad he didn't get the record. Riggo deserves it for now.

Posted by: bbirdy202 | February 28, 2011 8:31 AM | Report abuse

I for one will miss dollar bill.

Posted by: jm220 | February 28, 2011 8:32 AM | Report abuse

The Redskins have had some very good players since 1991, but because the teams since then have been forgettable, so have the players. I have no special feelings towards Clinton Portis. He's just another decent player who passed through Washington during the past two decades. (See Ken Harvey, Chris Daniels, et al.)

Posted by: ShovelPlease | February 28, 2011 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who calls themselves a real skins fan and is ready to see the departure of Clinton Portis is not a real fan in my eyes. Yes, he suffered injuries the last two seasons but when you look at his overall body of work for the Redskins this decade... NOBODY and I mean NOBODY has given more to this organization over the last 10+ years. It saddens me to see how people are soo quick to right you off in todays society! This man is gonna be 30 when the season starts, and still (when healthy) is an elite rusher in this league and is the best pass protecting RB in all of football! I guess I would feel differently about it if there were major injuries he suffered i.e torn knee ligaments or something like that. I would hate to see him go somewhere else and be successful. Would just be another athlete that this city has let go, only to see them flurish elsewhere!

Posted by: kelvincoggins | February 28, 2011 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Easy. Keep the top four alter-egos, Dolla Bill and Southeast Jerome included, and deal the rest. Should save a ton.

Posted by: Meepo | February 28, 2011 9:10 AM | Report abuse

clinton portis fit in with this current ownership group of me first mentality and often injured high salaried athlete...timing is everything...even in sports...

Posted by: wmnatzakanian | February 28, 2011 9:12 AM | Report abuse

The obvious is we would like to see CP stay but the reality is at this point he is not worth the numbers in his current contract. Hopefully he gets resigned at a fair price, if not thanks for everything CP3. You are appreciated. Go Skins!!!!!!

Posted by: MaxnDC | February 28, 2011 9:16 AM | Report abuse

There are no stats for backfield blocking or those times an offensive player takes-off to pursue a turnover. But those who watched Portis' play saw these efforts.
He also added levity to a locker room of a poorly performing team.
While it is time to go, we should recognize all he added to our squad.
Good luck Clinton, you'll be feeling the pain of your time here alot longer than our memories of you allow.

Posted by: stillAfan1 | February 28, 2011 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Who cares? Personally, I find the ownership so odious and distasteful that after a lifetime (50 years) of unstinting dedication to the Washington Redskins, I will no longer support the team while Snyder is at the helm. I never thought there could be a worse owner of a Sports franchise that Peter Angelos, but was I ever wrong. Go Ravens! GO Nats!

Posted by: captcompo | February 28, 2011 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Given Shanny's track record with running backs, I doubt Portis will be back.

Posted by: shanks1 | February 28, 2011 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Good riddance! If he wasn't undermining his his coaches it was his team mates. Clinton put the "me" in Team. Glad he didn't crack Riggo's number.

Posted by: Eradicator | February 28, 2011 10:00 AM | Report abuse

@bbirdy202...I think people forget the character that Riggo was. He was not the most team oriented player either, but that's one of the reasons why fans love the guy (that and a super bowl ring). Clinton was a good running back who played in a system here that didn't suit his strengths, but was still successful in it. He gave alot of himself on that field and while I too think he needs to be released or brought back at a lower price and as a back up, I will definitely miss him as a player on this team.

Posted by: poeticfire | February 28, 2011 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Everyone has revisionist memory. Portis had a couple good years at the outset and a nice string of games during Joe Gibbs (#2) to help them get to the playoffs. He has been injury prone, can be arm-tackled and falls down more than staying upright the last few years. I will give him this - he is fearless as a blocker. Also, $$ bill was classic. Good luck CP.

Posted by: rskinsfan | February 28, 2011 10:10 AM | Report abuse

For years he and Cooley were the brightest spots on a bleak team. The Skins were horrible, but he was always entertaining. His me first attitude wore thin during the week, but come game time he would block better than anyone and he would fight for yardage better than most. I for one will miss him and I know all of us will talk about the "Portis Years" not too long from now.

Posted by: abar1 | February 28, 2011 10:32 AM | Report abuse

The Redskins business decision up a problem with the NFL system. They can adjust Portis's salary based on market value, but he wasn't free to adjust his to market value when he was in his prime. In order to be fair both the players and the owners need to be free agents, or not.

Free markets in capitalism should be free for owners, players, banks and companies. Having different rules and having the taxpayers cover losses for financial firms and some big companies are the reasons we are having financial problems. Perhaps Portis is entitled to a bailout from the government?

Posted by: jdubow | February 28, 2011 11:12 AM | Report abuse

I would love to see CP back next year as a 3rd down back (at greatly reduced salary, obviously). He blocks as well as any RB in the game, and he does a good job catching balls out on the edges.

Posted by: CommieX | February 28, 2011 11:18 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: JCM-51 | February 28, 2011 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Not to take anything away from Portis, who was a an excellent running back, but trading Champ Bailey and a second round pick for him was a terrible deal.

Quality corner backs are an exceedingly rare commodity in this league. Portis gave the Redskins maybe four of five good (but not great) years of production. Bailey is a 10-time Pro-Bowler (a league record for corner backs) whose already given the Broncos at least as many years as Portis and is still going strong. And we'll never know how valuable that second round pick would have been to the Redskins had they kept it (but it probably would have been a really good player).

So on balance, the Portis trade was a huge loss. But then, inept personnel moves seem to be the signature feature of Daniel Snyder's Redskins.

Posted by: Gladiator2008 | February 28, 2011 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Great trade, Daniel Napolean Snyder, you fool. Perennial all-pro Champ Bailey and a second rounder (Tatum Bell) for don't make a difference Sheriff Gonna Getcha. CB just signs a 4 year contract extension with Denver and Coach Gonna Getcha gonna get released. .

Posted by: getitritegov | February 28, 2011 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Hit refresh. Portis said, "I should be released today."

Posted by: CindyBoren | February 28, 2011 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Who traded Champ Bailey AND a 2nd round pick? Joe Gibbs

So don't blame Vinny and Dan without adding Joe into it as well.

Posted by: morrisday1 | February 28, 2011 11:43 AM | Report abuse

CP will easily find work with another NFL team, probably situational but his blocking ability alone will keep him employed...Funny if he ends up in the NFC east or an actual contender...( Pittsburg, NE, NO..etc..)Sucks to be canned by the same coach 2 times. The Shennagains SUCK!

BTW.. Portis Pockets Strait!

Posted by: rlomax67 | February 28, 2011 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I hope he doesn't pull a hamstring walking out the door.

Posted by: whocares666 | February 28, 2011 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Um, yeah. That was not a good trade.

Posted by: Cindy Boren | February 28, 2011 12:00 PM | Report abuse

CP26 was definitely a little quirky off the field, but when he got between the lines, he was a warrior. People don't realize that he changed his game (pass pro., running between tackles, etc.) and his body (look at Denver pictures now; he looks like a kid) to do what the Redskins asked him to do. And even though he was running in that neanderthal offense, he is still one of the top rushers in the game. That says alot. I think he should have been given the opportunity to get the team record. Thanks, Clinton and good luck wherever you end up!

Posted by: questioningauthority | February 28, 2011 12:03 PM | Report abuse

There's always a chance he'll take a paycut and return, but he didn't seem to be of that frame of mind and Shanahan didn't either. I'll post a link to the interview when it's up.

Posted by: Cindy Boren | February 28, 2011 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Although, Portis was one of my favorites on the roster. The last few seasons he became soft and ran with no heart. If you blew on him, he went down. Good luck to you and it's about time they released you. You in-the-closet homo. Take that scrub Mike Sellers with you, he scared to block anybody. Matter of fact, take the whole entire roster with you. You bunch of overpaid scrubs... D-Hall, the only thing you can cover is your boyfriend's ball sack.... I'm sick of hearing after every season since 1991... "we'll see what happens next season".

Posted by: outbeeze | February 28, 2011 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Not being a Deadskin fan but, the WHOLE time that CP was here, not even JIM BROWN couldn't have done what CP did for the Deadskins with NO O-Line !!!

Posted by: Raidersfan2 | February 28, 2011 12:17 PM | Report abuse

As the Broncos re-sign Champ Bailey, the Redskins release Portis.

How does that trade look today? Who knew Portis' first carry as a Redskin would be his best?

Posted by: clandestinetomcat | February 28, 2011 12:20 PM | Report abuse

you know what else it terrible. Is that every Friday after work when a bunch of us would go to Docks or ALoft in Ashburn for a few drinks on Fridays, I would see half the Redskins' players there drunk. Haynesworth and Sellers would close the place down.... stubbling out the place. After 34 years supporting this team, I'm sadden to say that I cancelled my season tickets I held for years and could careless what happens to them. GO COWGIRLS

Posted by: outbeeze | February 28, 2011 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Have you forgotten about Danny Boy's antics already? Boycott them, and ignore them.

Posted by: Trout1 | February 28, 2011 12:36 PM | Report abuse

you know what else it terrible. Is that every Friday after work when a bunch of us would go to Docks or ALoft in Ashburn for a few drinks on Fridays, I would see half the Redskins' players there drunk. Haynesworth and Sellers would close the place down.... stubbling out the place. After 34 years supporting this team, I'm sadden to say that I cancelled my season tickets I held for years and could careless what happens to them. GO COWGIRLS

Posted by: outbeeze | February 28, 2011 12:26 PM | Report abuse

yeaaaah - but that's not new. You've never heard of the "5 O'Clock Club" during Gibbs I? I worked across from Dulles from 1985-1989 and my office was about 1/2 mile from the original Redskins Park. Many of us saw 'Skins players out at night in the area. On the other hand, I saw Mark Rypien buying a steak once at the local Giant Food. I do believe that he lived in the same apartments that I did, so some 'Skins weren't living it up.

In any case, football players party; maybe differently, maybe not so much, but they do.

Posted by: JohnDinHouston | February 28, 2011 12:38 PM | Report abuse

The problem isn't the release. Almost certainly justified at the salary, and if he can be brought back at a reasonable rate that would be fine too.

The problem is - what has this FO ever done to make anyone think they will find a suitable replacement if he doesn't return?

Posted by: sparman | February 28, 2011 12:40 PM | Report abuse

As the Broncos re-sign Champ Bailey, the Redskins release Portis.

How does that trade look today? Who knew Portis' first carry as a Redskin would be his best?

Posted by: clandestinetomcat |

I don't think you can base it simply on time played. A RB is going to get beat up a lot more than a CB. Their football careers can end up being a lot shorter because of that. But in the meantime, they can have a greater impact on the outcome of games. No, I'm not diminishing the impact of a CB, but an RB is touching the ball 25-35 times a game, blocking, catching.

How the trade worked out in balance is a pretty tough thing to measure, but at a glance I'd still say this was good for the Skins.

Posted by: fan-o-matic | February 28, 2011 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Clasy guy- Has a stripper pole in his house. Well, what should we expect, he barely speaks english.

Posted by: bal503 | February 28, 2011 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Portis, you gave the Skins your best and that's what a real Pro does. I hope you get to play someplace else in the NFL that's not dysfunctional like the Redskins organization.

Posted by: YadaYada1 | February 28, 2011 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Trust me Clinton, we don't want you to break John Riggins record. John Riggins was a LEADER!

Posted by: lek91091 | February 28, 2011 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I do believe Portis played as hard as anyone earlier in his career, and the evidence is still in his pass protection. However, you never trade a shut-down corner for a RB unless he's a guy like Barry Sanders that'll get 1500 yards behind a HS OL playing against an NFL DL. Never. If you wanted a Portis guy use a tough 2nd round pick and hire an OL coach for the zone blocking scheme. But yeah, I think I had a lot more confidence in the OL when Portis was in their blocking too.

Posted by: NovaMike | February 28, 2011 12:58 PM | Report abuse

I wish Clinton luck in the future. I appreciate all the times he put his head down to get an extra yard or drilling a blitzing linebacker. Clinton brought the swagger.

Posted by: oconnra8 | February 28, 2011 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Like they were going to let him break John Riggins record.... That was never going to happen... I don't know for sure but isn't Sonny still the all time leader in passing yards in DC... Clinton was the man but he couldn't do it by himself... Now they need to do right by Donvan McNabb or nobody is going to want to come here. On a lighter note, the minute I saw Jason Campbell doing those Easter Motor commercials I knew he was out... You'de never see Sonny doing the Dougy and high stepping with a football... I saw that and said no jason, no!!! There goes your career in DC

Posted by: WHYNOTMINOT | February 28, 2011 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Riggins had a much better Offensive-Line. QBs and RBs will continue to have short careers in DC until Snyder drafts Linemen early and often..

Posted by: jercha | February 28, 2011 1:00 PM | Report abuse

go on get rid of him, you don't have anyone better especially as a blocker; and you may not find 'him' either. then you'll really complain. however the biggest joke in sports are the ones that some fans use, is that someone is a problem in the locker room...players almost never say that and the few that do are near the end of their careers and are looking for that media deal where they can act like they're object! c'mon people b 4 real...the main reason is $$$ because of some stupid moves!

Posted by: aypub | February 28, 2011 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Vinny Cerrato's 2008 draft stands on its own for futility. Anyone who had any doubts before as to which person was CONSISTENTLY giving Snyder bad advice on personnel the answer was revealed after the fallout from that draft.

For those in love with having a lot of draft choices, even when you have them, if the person making the picks is an idiot, you don't move forward.

With THREE #2 picks spent on receivers, the Redskins offense should be deep in talent and have a very good passing game right now.

Instead we have perhaps the least amount of talent at WR as any team in the NFC.

Posted by: RoyHobbs4 | February 28, 2011 1:08 PM | Report abuse

overpaid, underproduced---typical of the people that snyder brings in for more mediocrity year after year.

Posted by: Isocrates | February 28, 2011 1:14 PM | Report abuse

CP is probably still a great blocker when picking up the blitz but he has confidence problems stemming from his concussions and injuries. Remember him falling down vs. delivering/taking a hit? His days of being an elite running back are over.

As a player, he was given too much importance by management. He had Danny's ear and he used it. That was a huge mistake as CP undermined coaches and teammates. Not exactly a team first guy. More like a me first jerk.

He has earned his money and I say farewell. Glad he didn't break Riggo's records. Oh, and he needs to learn how to speak and write English.

Posted by: neil64 | February 28, 2011 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Honestly, I enjoyed CP on and off the field. You gave your all considering the horrible owner and coaching we seem to maintain. We have no idea what we need for where we are going and that's frustrating. Skins are my heart, but I get better excitement from the Ravens and I have allot of friends from Baltimore. Good Luck CP and thanks for everything. Hopefully, I will see you with another team doing your thing. Much Love...

Posted by: deshay46 | February 28, 2011 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Clinton played here in Denver before the trade for Champ Bailey. It was a good trade for both teams. Clinton was young and exciting at the time. However, Running backs take an awful beating and I'm not sure how good he is these days. Wish him the best. Champ is still going strong and just signed on for another 4 years. Maybe
that trade is coming back to haunt Shanahan. He never was very good at evaulating players.

Posted by: jjbaill | February 28, 2011 1:26 PM | Report abuse

With the exception of Chris Samuels, CP was the best pass blocker we had.

Posted by: nonsensical2001 | February 28, 2011 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Portis was the real deal when he was healthy. I'm sorry he's had a few rough seasons. I hope he does well wherever he ends up. Maybe he can finish his career with at least one healthy season.

Posted by: CAmira5 | February 28, 2011 1:33 PM | Report abuse

At Easterns Motors, your jobs your credit! Good Riddance.

Another slain Brother bites the dust. Dan is a r`a`p`i`s`t.

Posted by: Special_One40 | February 28, 2011 3:26 PM | Report abuse

He was an outstanding pass blocker, nonsensical. And thanks so much, special_one, for putting the Eastern Motors song in my head.

Posted by: Cindy Boren | February 28, 2011 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Between the Deadskins, the Gizzards, and now the Natinals (Dukes getting high before games), I can't keep up with these 8 balls anymore..

Posted by: wewintheylose1 | February 28, 2011 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Hey Cindy, it's Coach Janky Spanky. That's Spanky not Panky. Panky would be juvenile and disrespectful to his position coach. Spanky is just plain funny as it recalls a familiar "Our Gang" character posing as a coach in the NFL playoffs.

All hail Clinton Portis.

No QB... no problem.

No 2nd/3rd WR... no problem.

Aging LT (Samuels)... Aging RT (Jansen)... no problem.

Sometimes, a great RB can be his own worst enemy. Just ask Barry Sanders how many playoff games he won.

Posted by: ProfessorWrightBSU | February 28, 2011 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Portis had a 4.2 ypc last year, so he still has something besides his pass blocking. Maybe I'm being unrealistic, but I hope for once Shanahan isn't "peeing" in the wind when he talks about a possible return.

I think #26 was a true Redskin, and those are hard to come by these days.

As for Portis/Bailey, I live in Denver, and many locals are not happy about the re-signing. He hasn't been a shutdown corner, and if Sean Taylor had lived, a lot of the comparisons would have been moot.

Posted by: messykat | February 28, 2011 4:33 PM | Report abuse

CP had a nice career for Washington, but he is by no means an elite runner and at his age, the only way he is headed is down. It would be foolish to keep a roster spot for him at the expense of another young HB. Ironically, he is such a superb blocker, he would probably be of more value as a a FB if he had another 30 pounds of muscle on him, but he doesn't.

Posted by: jksesq1 | February 28, 2011 5:37 PM | Report abuse

any so called football fan who says Clinton Portis was "underproductive", a "me first" player, or in any way disparrages his Redskin years is an idiot. Only ONE PLAYER in the ENTIRE HISTORY of the team rushed for more yards than Clinton Portis. Think of all the running backs who carried the ball for the 'Skins; Larry Brown, stephen Davis, Ernest Byner, Bobby Mitchell ( I know, not a true RB)etc. etc. SECOND ALL-TIME!! And on mostly poor teams with poor offensive lines. And his effort stinks? Not good enough for you? Didn't try hard enough? Ridiculous. Any fool out there in Redskins Land who is stupid enough to pass judgement on Clinton Portis' desire should go back to their couch, pop another beer and suck on it.
Good luck and best wishes, CP. You were a great Redskin, the second greatest running back in the history of the franchise.

Posted by: cjbass55 | February 28, 2011 6:58 PM | Report abuse

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