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Posted at 9:49 AM ET, 03/ 1/2011

Was releasing Clinton Portis the right decision?

By LaVar Arrington

Clinton Portis was given the opportunity to restructure his contract, and he chose not to. He entered last season as a number one back, so paying him like one made sense. But next season, Portis would be a backup, and the Redskins need to free up all the money they can, so I'm sure he wasn't offered much, if anything, more than the veteran minimum to remain on the team, given his recent injuries. Franchises want to feel confident about the durability of their players, especially at key positions such as running back.

Let's be realistic about the current state of the Redskins: It's not very good at the moment. So the luxuries that winning teams enjoy don't exist here. For example, coaches stay in place when a team is winning, and as a result, veterans usual can steal a few extra years on a roster.

Mike Shananhan is entering his second season as coach in Washington after a disappointing 6-10 first season. He has tons of pressure on him to win, and after some debatable decisions, he has a bigger microscope on him. So as a result, Shanahan has to work to crack the code of how to turn this team into a winner. When that's the main objective, tough decisions have to made, and sometimes that means parting ways with players who meant so much to a franchise. It's a harsh reality for players, fans and coaches.

The Redskins were one of the oldest teams last year. If a team is to have a chance to improve, the players have to be young enough to grow together.

I'm sure Shanahan would have liked to have kept Portis on the team to be a mentor of sorts, but without a restructured contract for much less money, keeping him was made impossible.

So it was indeed the right decision for the team to part ways with Portis.

By LaVar Arrington  | March 1, 2011; 9:49 AM ET
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Next: Post Sports Live: The end of the Portis era, the NFL's labor issues, college hoops and Caps trades


Should have cut him a few years before his roster bonus of $15mil. He was a cancer then and is just an annoyance now. Good riddance.

Posted by: KDSmallJr | March 1, 2011 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Its a new day. Loved him though.

Posted by: AllDCSports | March 1, 2011 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Take CP, thanks, last couple of years a little rough so good luck out there. I think Denver got the better deal w/CB, how many pro bowls has CB made vs CP ??

Posted by: aginsburg | March 1, 2011 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Still too late to get Champ Bailey back?

Posted by: ozpunk | March 1, 2011 11:26 AM | Report abuse

For those of you who think Champ Bailey was the better of players in the trade w/Portis, it may interest you to know Denver did nothing w/Bailey. In fact, Bailey was part of meal, as in bacon, eggs and toast. I say toast because everytime I watched him play, he was getting burnt! The reason why the Redskins keep making silly decisions is become you the fan don't have enough good sense to understand the real game. You idiots watch the combine and listen to Mel Kiper and think you've got the skinny. The next time you make fun of your wife for her insights on sports, just remember you come up w/the same dumb ass conclusions yourself. You just think you know what you're talking about.

Posted by: ktaylor15 | March 1, 2011 11:37 AM | Report abuse

I went back and forth on Portis over the years. I think he challenged each coach at times and wasn't always the best teammate.

But when healthy he did produce which is something a number of the high priced trade and free agent acquisitions did not do when they hit town.

That said, I am glad that Portis did not break John Riggins' career team rushing mark.

Riggins played during a golden era for the team and those yards seemed to mean so much more in key games against Dallas and Minnesota in the playoffs than the yards Portis was able to gain against the Lions and Cardinals in games that meant far less over time.

Posted by: RoyHobbs4 | March 1, 2011 11:44 AM | Report abuse

"The reason why the Redskins keep making silly decisions is become you the fan don't have enough good sense to understand the real game."

Posted by: ktaylor15 |

Although I agree that fan's fickless and lack of true NFL experience leads to a lack of proper understanding of what it means to coach or play can't blame the fans on the teams bad decisions.

Posted by: pig_skins | March 1, 2011 12:31 PM | Report abuse

he should of been traded 3 years ago when he had some value. he put up some good numbers, but caused too much trouble. good luck and goodbye.

Posted by: miked4 | March 1, 2011 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Best thing Arrington has ever written.

Posted by: shanks1 | March 1, 2011 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Champ Bailey didnt want to be here, I find it amazing people keep forgetting that fact. We gave up a pro bowl corner for a pro bowl RB. We didnt miss Bailey because the skins picked up Sean Springs in free agency, and in my opinion Spring was a better fit for GW's defense. I think Trung Candidate was our RB before Portis arrived, the trade was a win to me.

Posted by: tonytnt40 | March 1, 2011 3:46 PM | Report abuse

luxury? what the hell are you talking about arrington? portis is finished, washed up, kaput! why would you keep him?

Posted by: slick3 | March 1, 2011 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Another example of Dan's poor ROI 101.
Buy real high, sell for nothing

Traded Champ AND a #2 round pick
Portis leaves for free

Traded a 1st AND 2nd to Philly for McNabb
Who will leave for nothing back

Traded 3 picks to get Jason
Traded him for a #4 or #5 pick

All = last place 3 straight years; and about 4 winning seasons the past 19 seasons ...

Posted by: morrisday1 | March 1, 2011 4:44 PM | Report abuse

A practical column of LaVar's opinion but honestly, I think Portis is one hell of a player and should've tried to renegotiate that contract. He's done himself an injustice. In sports you all say; a "Win is a Win"! So what difference does it make which game he gains yards in? He should have stayed and finished the business of gaining those 692 yrds. What he really needed was a confidant..a trusting friend to that he could sound off with instead of to the media. Sadly, he didn't find one here and most obviously not a publcist or agent. Interesting tho, Mr. Arrington's hands aren't so clean either. As I listen to him on 106.7 - I note he seems to forget his love fest with the owner as well..sitting in the owners box when injured instead of with his team. Much boasting & bravado then not knowing his own place on the field-oposing side pointing him out til the coach benched him. My point? We all make mistakes in life. Examine thine own self-quit being a "hater" it obvious. Portis wasn't necessarily the best but she sure wasn't the worse. Since the Redskins haven't won a championship since when???
Then nobody's beyond criticism.

Posted by: Rozlind | March 1, 2011 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Portis has been mediocre since he left Denver. Sure; he has had some bright spots but on a whole he has been done for some time. Injuries, bad attitude, and a lack of breakaway speed don't spell contract?

I respect the toughness he showed especially when taking out blitzing linebackers but with his recent history of concussions I hope he retires before he turns into Muhammad Ali?

Posted by: fatlabriley2 | March 1, 2011 9:07 PM | Report abuse

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