Was releasing Clinton Portis the right decision?
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.
| March 1, 2011; 9:49 AM ET
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