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Posted at 12:42 PM ET, 12/29/2010

Clinton Portis says he can still be a top-flight back

By Barry Svrluga

Injured Redskins running back Clinton Portis said Wednesday that not only would he like to return to the team for the 2011 season - which would be his 10th in the NFL and eighth in Washington - but that he still has the skills to be a top-flight back in the league, and he didn't sound terribly anxious to take a pay cut if it helped him remained in Washington.

"I know I got good football left in me," Portis said. "I think being fresh, having been really in the last two years not having a lot of contact, I think the two injuries -- going out with a concussion, and then the torn groin -- was really fluke injuries. I don't think that's a wear and tear, like, 'Oh his body broke down.' I think that was just fluke injuries."

Portis has played in only 13 games the past two seasons, succumbing to a concussion in 2009 and a groin injury this season. During that time, he has carried the ball 178 times for 721 yards, a 4.1-yard average per carry. He reiterated that while he believes he can overcome the injuries, the time away from football has given him some perspective.

"I think there's a time you take stuff for granted, and there's a time you come to the realization that every game is precious," Portis said. "You don't have forever, and the last few years show you that."

He said the decision about whether he remains a Redskin is up to Coach Mike Shanahan, General Manager Bruce Allen and owner Daniel Snyder - not Portis himself. Portis is due to make $8.3 million under his current contract in 2011.

"I think that's out of my control," Portis said. "That's up to the front office. If they want to keep me, of course they got first option. If they want to let me go, then I'm okay with it. I understand the business side of this, and you know, if it's it, I think it'll be a bittersweet moment. But I think life got to go on."

Portis was asked if he would restructure his contract to remain a Redskin.

"If they asked me what would I want to do, let's see," he said. "I played for pennies in Denver, and I guess would be considered awesome [during his tenure there]. And I gave everything I had in Washington, D.C., and was supposedly overpaid. And the last two years when I've been injured and went on IR, it's like, 'He overpaid and he don't deserve it.' There's plenty of people around the NFL whose stats and whose numbers don't come close who's making the same kind of money as I'm making. So that's up to them. I can't sit here and say, 'Ooh, I want to take a pay cut.' I really want a pay raise, to be honest," and he chuckled.

Portis, who played under Shanahan during his first two seasons in the NFL with Denver, said he believes the coach has the franchise pointed in the right direction despite the team's 6-9 record heading into Sunday's season finale against the New York Giants. He also said he was committed to the program Shanahan has put in place.

"I would love to be" back, he said. "I think going out on a limb, I did everything they asked. I think I showed all the requirements. I think I showed that I continued to play. I showed that I was actually dedicated to this program and turning this team around. I kind of flew under the radar and moved from the forefront and let everybody else do their thing, and I did my work quiet. It was tough early on just not getting the ball and being healthy, and then all of a sudden, once we established a running game, I was done. So who knows, man? That's up to them."

In Portis's place, second-year back Ryan Torain leads the Redskins with 681 yards on 146 carries, a 4.7-yard average, with four touchdowns. Rookie Keiland Williams has added 257 yards on 64 attempts (a 4.0 average) with three scores. Williams also has 35 receptions for 262 yards and a pair of scores.

Portis was asked, given the fact that he'll be 30 next year, if he sees himself as a role player next year.

"I don't think I'd be just a contributor on any team," Portis said. "No matter where I'm playing at, I think the defensive coordinator going to game plan [for me]. I don't think he going to look and say, 'Well , that's Portis. Don't worry about him.' If he do, I would love that. I really would.

"But I think when you build and put so much time into an organization -- I helped with the rise and the fall, so to speak, because when it was good, it was like, 'Portis is awesome.' When it got bad, it was like, 'Portis is horrible.' Just being a part of this organization, and knowing this organization [is] going to turn around, and it's going to change and things will get better, you would love to see the good side of it."

By Barry Svrluga  | December 29, 2010; 12:42 PM ET
Categories:  Clinton Portis  
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Next: Redskins will place Kareem Moore on injured reserve


Anyone know a good betting site? Or does Vegas take betts over the phone?

Posted by: dealer1 | December 29, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

The mind is willing...

Posted by: Alan4 | December 29, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Portis' 2011 contract will be restructured one way or another. His salary will either be reduced by agreement or reduced to ZERO by the team. So there is a chance he might be back.

KMoore to IR, sign DB Reggie Jones.

Hakeem Nicks out this Sunday.

Posted by: Diesel44 | December 29, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Top flight, no. Potentially productive, sure. But I doubt it will be here. He had some great moments though.

How long before someone goes off on him saying he "played for pennies" in Denver?

Posted by: AdamCr | December 29, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Farvra fined 50k, no suspension for photos of little farve.

for anybody that cares..

Posted by: Diesel44 | December 29, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Goodell is such a punk ibtch!!!!!! $50k???!!! Fine for someone who makes 10s of millions. Cuz they couldn't "verify that was favreeeeehs voice"!!! Ugh!

Posted by: dealer1 | December 29, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

The problem with the currently assembly of backs is that they all do practically the same thing.

I don't thing I ever hid the fact that I was a Portis fan, but when it's your time....

I would like to see him back next year but at a much lower price. 2 million bonus with options on the 2nd and 3rd year is fair.

Posted by: RedDMV | December 29, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

obviously still suffering the effects of that concussion.....

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | December 29, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

diesel thanks for the updates.....

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | December 29, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Diesel, I forgot that you work fer the Divide-And-Conquer Jersey Post, jumping at every oppurtunity ta tear down the Skin..

Posted by: frak | December 29, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I love Clinton Portis, but sadly I think his days are done.

Posted by: iH8dallas | December 29, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Goodell is such a punk ibtch!!!!!! $50k???!!! Fine for someone who makes 10s of millions. Cuz they couldn't "verify that was favreeeeehs voice"!!! Ugh!

Posted by: dealer1 | December 29, 2010 1:06 PM

and maybe they couldnt verify that was Favre's photo... Anyone could of accessed that cell phone in the locker-room.
Also, you have to wonder if Favre's atty made a deal ref Favre's career ending injury from an unsuitable playing field (U of Minn's frozen field).
A good Atty finds leverage anywhere.

Posted by: reader51 | December 29, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Sweet! Will Southeast Jerome be back too? You "worked for pennies in Denver"? You've been waaaay OVERPAID here along w/ Haynesworth, McPick, and many others. Good riddance. Your act is past tired...

Posted by: RunninUteDB | December 29, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Diesel44 | December 29, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Its hard to believe how die hard some Skins fans are. Now Shanny is an expert on talent? What season have some of you been looking at?

Posted by: Jizel | December 29, 2010 12:49 PM

I was just going to say, how refreshing it was to read optimism from real fans such as Moe, Brownwood and Flounder, and then I got to yours.

Shanahan was handed a mess. It is obvious to everyone his offensive system makes wide receivers open and running backs productive. Every coach has flaws, Shanny is no different, but he is excellent at getting production from undrafted free agents such as Banks and Armstrong. He and Belicheck have done this all their career, taking nobody's and making them somebody's.

It will take some time to get rid of the baggage and change the culture in washington and I for one would like to begin with fans like you. Go cuddle up with ESPN and the rest of the naysayers, leave the real fans alone.


Posted by: rodskin | December 29, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Washed up, and over the hill RBs are a dime a dozen in this league.

Dude had been making something north of a million per game -- guaranteed money, paid whether he plays or not.

For the longest time, he took it all for granted... and only lately came around to getting in shape and practicing when he realized the gravy train was going to run out.

If he thinks it can continue -- despite his ever-declining skills and production -- he's even more delusional than we thought.

Only way anyone should even consider bringing him back is if he commits to a contract restructure -- and for nothing more than something in the range of $1 - 1.5 million base -- plus performance incentives.

Posted by: Vic1 | December 29, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Portis .... looks like Champ Bailey might end up being a FA , wunder if he'd consider comming back to Washington ? ... not consistant with a 'youth movement' but he's STILL a shut-down corner ...

Posted by: RoidRage | December 29, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I like Portis and he had his good years, but the last couple of years, he's been injured more than he's been healthy. I think that's a sign. I don't see him having a future with the Redskins, and maybe not any other team either, unless it's as a backup. I like the guy, though.

Posted by: CAmira5 | December 29, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Portis can no longer be considered a top-flight RB but he could be very productive as our Kevin Faulk utility back.

Posted by: coparker5 | December 29, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

04 to 07 Gibbs wore his rear end out, 325 carries a year worth. I say he earned his money here.

He not worth 8 million next year though. Even Clinton knows that. I'd like to see him back but doubt he will be.

Posted by: dcinmd1 | December 29, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Clinton was a warrior, but unless he takes a pay cut, he's got to go. Hello Torain and Williams.
Portis will probably say " but I gots kids to feed, I need 8 mil next year " Just like Tyson when he said that after making 400 million in his career!! WTF?? Clinton, you've made 20 million in your life. Have you saved any of it??? Man, these guys kill me. No idea what the real world is like.

Posted by: Riggo2 | December 29, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Goodell is such a punk ibtch!!!!!! $50k???!!! Fine for someone who makes 10s of millions. Cuz they couldn't "verify that was favreeeeehs voice"!!! Ugh!

Posted by: dealer1 | December 29, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Please!!! Favre is a dirt bag, no question. That doesn't mean some scumbag hooker with a lawyer looking for her 15 minutes is some kind of victim. She's seen much more live action than what's in those photos I guarantee you. Most hookers have.

Posted by: skins91r | December 29, 2010 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Clinton has well said & is correct. He hasn't sustained any hits for 2 yrs while he's been injured, on IR and paid $13 milliion plus.

ENOUGH! concussions, groin muscles torn from the bone and ripped abdominal muscles are not flukes...its what happens in the NFL.on any given Sunday.

Posted by: McleanVa09 | December 30, 2010 2:23 AM | Report abuse

Clinton has well said & is correct. He hasn't sustained any hits for 2 yrs while he's been injured, on IR and paid $13 milliion plus.

ENOUGH! concussions, groin muscles torn from the bone and ripped abdominal muscles are not flukes...its what happens in the NFL.on any given Sunday.

Posted by: McleanVa09 | December 30, 2010 2:24 AM | Report abuse

My brain hurts from reading Clinton's direct quotes, I wish the Post would use a translator for him and maybe a few others.
He needs to rework his contract or the team should cut him and then resign him after he gets no interest from other teams. Might still be serviceable in the right situations... kind of like LT for the Jets.

Posted by: unquiltom | December 30, 2010 2:46 AM | Report abuse

He would be great for the Dolphins. Portis.

Posted by: dmlopez1 | December 30, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Clinton has consistently played above and beyond other RBs in the League. He hits hard. On the run and, often overlooked, in the backfield. Especially in the backfield, he makes a snap decision to stay and block. With our poor OL, he has been missed while on IR.
But, and this is the tough call here, he is nearing the end of his career. More to the point at hand, his trade value is declining rapidly.
I think we should look to the Pats and their pattern of trading aging star players who still have real value but short futures.
I admire his play and I wish him well. I hope he can continue to play without serious long term problems. But right now, we need picks.

Posted by: stillAfan1 | December 30, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Portis should definitely be back next year, but certainly not at his current salary.

The fact is, Portis is one of the few true 'football players' left in this league. He goes 100% on every play, regardless of his assignment from snap to whistle.

How many starting running backs in this league like to pass block? Portis does. And he does it so well that LB's around the league know that if they're blitzing they'd better go around Portis or they're gonna lose most of their teeth.

How many offensive players will sprint 30 yards to catch up to a play just in case they might get be able to get a block? Portis does it on every pass play. Earlier this year Fred Davis caught a pass 30-yards down field in stride and the first would-be tackler was leveled by Portis who started the play in the back field, blocking. He doesn't always get there in time, but watch any pass play closely and you'll see he's coming, hard.

Remember a few years back when Portis missed the first few weeks of the season with a shoulder injury? He got that making a tackle on an interception in a preseason game. A tackle in which he ran down the DB from behind and absolutely BURIED the guy.

Yeah, he's outspoken and has made some media spectacles. But none of that has ever affected what he does on the field.

Yeah, he's criticized some coaching moves here and there, but he's always done what they've asked him to do regardless of what he thinks of it. I have no doubt that Portis would cover kicks if they asked him to. And he'd be good at it. He'd hit somebody, that's for sure.

Portis is certainly not the future in D.C., but if you're 'rebuilding' a team then you need guys around who lead by example on the field. The impact that Portis has on the field doesn't always show up in the RB stats, but it can't be discounted.

Personally, I'd love to see Portis back next year. Imagine a defense that has to face Torain and/or Portis on any given play.

Posted by: dsatinover | December 30, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I think Portis still has a few years left IF, and that's a big if, the Redskins can actually run the zone blocking scheme that seems to get every running back under Shanahan at least 1100 yards when healthy.

Portis loves this game, and his excellent blocking ability speaks of that passion.

No matter how slice it, Torain ain't no Portis. That is a clear night and day difference. If he can stay healthy, then by all means give him another chance.

Posted by: jmounadi | December 30, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

His days are over as the number one, full-time running back for any NFL team.

On the other hand, do you think he could get a job teaching english to even high school students?

BTW - where did he attend college?

Posted by: spacreek | December 30, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Portis went to the U (of Miami).

Posted by: joe20895 | December 30, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Spacreek that is out of line. He has a better opportunity to be a salesman for Eastern Motors.

If he can stay healthy, he's still more explosive than alot of current NFL RB's. Especially any on our roster.

Posted by: jmounadi | December 30, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

No way. Portis can sit on IR someplace else. Maybe consider him as a 3rd down back at league minimum, but we have Williams with far too much upside.

Portis is not a Redskin next year.

Posted by: alocowboy | December 30, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I don't think his body can take the abuse of his playing style, and he doesn't seem to have the ability to play through pain like some other players do. I don't blame him for that though. I always thought Riggins and Jacoby and those guys were nuts for playing with their bodies breaking down.

The Redskins are starting over, so they should let him go. His locker room presence is probably just going to be a link to a failed era. No offense intended, Portis.

Posted by: Chigliak | December 30, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

I hope Portis gets traded to another team, McNabb walks because of the Shannys, we need a top QB and running back Grossman and D. Russel will do so Kyle will stop whinning to his dad. and we get some a new defensive coordinator to use the talent we have. Hail to the skins.

Posted by: MPWTIAN | December 30, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

I hope Portis gets traded to another team, McNabb walks because of the Shannys, we need a top QB and running back Grossman and D. Russel will do so Kyle will stop whinning to his dad. and we get some a new defensive coordinator to use the talent we have. Hail to the skins.

Posted by: MPWTIAN | December 30, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

If you start Portis, he will end up injured and/or Torain will finish with more carries and yards anyway.

A fresh Portis makes a good 3rd down back, sometimes spelling Torain on 1st and 2nd.

And he expects 8.3 MIL for this? LOL.

Posted by: artsnsportz | December 30, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

LOL. Portis is Captain Washout. You've sucked for 2 years. Just let it go. Take your millions of cash from Dan Snyder and just go away. This roster needs to be nuked. 80% of the players are useless, overpaid gasbags. I can't wait for Shanahan smoke these tools.

Posted by: zap123 | December 30, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

I nkow that many here think Portis is done, and have hated his antics for years. But don't overlook the fact that for years this guy gave everything he had, and was a top back. At this stage of his career, we all know he no longer is that. But he is a very capable veteran back, who is still the best pass blocking back in the NFC, if not the whole league. Does that deserve 8 mil a year, heck no. But at the right price, he definitely has a place on the team. Torain, for as good as he has been, cannot be counted on to be healthy all the time. But Totrain as the #1, Portis the #2, and Williams as the #3 is a pretty good rotation. Use the 2nd rounder this yr on another o-lineman and stop playing musical chairs up front, and the running game will be okay. So many here complain of Portis's ways, but J Riggins was drunk half the time and all he gets is love. And I personally care less what a player says as long as he gives 100% on the field. And what a player makes is none of my concern. Here in Charlotte, NC the Panthers cut payroll and still raised ticket prices. News flash, regardless of what the players make, we the fans still pay through the nose, so they might as well get paid.

Posted by: dolemite1 | December 31, 2010 4:00 AM | Report abuse

Send him on his way.

He'll never be able to accept not being top dog and he doesn't have enough left to be that. He'll be a cancer.

I don't care about pedigree - roster needs to over-hauled with hungry, young, fast guys.

Posted by: kone | December 31, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

dolemite1 - Riggins gets all the love because he strapped the team onto his bad back and rushed over 30 times a game for 3 consecutive games in the playoffs in '82 to get us our first Superbowl victory. He had 30+ rushing attempts many more times in the following years including another playoff win.

Posted by: Chigliak | December 31, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

@ Chigliak - I agree about Riggins. But He had Hall of Famers blocking for him. My point is that if Riggins played now in this era of blogs, Twitter, and Facebook, he would have been hated also. Everything these players do now is magnified so much these days, often blown out of proportion.

Posted by: dolemite1 | December 31, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

My main concern for Portis is or are his major injuries..The past two years. Can he stay healthy? Will he sustain any further damage?

That's the question..It doesn't sound like he'll accept less -he said he felt he should get a raise!

Posted by: McleanVa09 | January 1, 2011 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Sorry ya but seriously....having BARELY played the last 2 seasons do you really think you deserve to be paid 8.3MILLION??

Restructure your contract so you can go down in the record books rather than be released and just be another journeyman RB.

Posted by: GoonieGooGoo | January 2, 2011 8:29 AM | Report abuse



Posted by: burro2 | January 2, 2011 11:44 AM | Report abuse

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