LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 21: Running back Clinton Portis #26 of the Washington Redskins trotts off the field after defeating the Philadelphia Eagles 10-3 on December 21, 2008 at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
There were the best of times. There were the worst of times. And then there were the Clinton Portis times.
And now it is over.
The Redskins released the nine-year veteran Monday. The move was made now so they wouldn't have to wait for a new collective bargaining agreement to go into effect. The current CBA expires Friday.
“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 Dan Snyder said in a press release. “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.”
In the same release, Portis had lovely things to say about the Redskins organization:
"Dan and Mike [Shanahan] were honest, straight-up people with me," Porti said. "I always appreciated the opportunity from Dan to play here. Being a Redskin was a special part of my life. Coming and being in that organization, I turned from a kid having fun to a man carrying responsibilities. I tried to put the world on my shoulders for Coach Gibbs and the Redskins fans.”
Of course, on Sunday Portis already had the mindset that he would no longer be suiting up in the burgundy and gold.
Portis told NBC Washington’s Lindsay Czarniak, “It’s time to move on. Parting ways with the organization is best for both situations. I can’t grow within this situation. The same passion I had while playing for Coach Gibbs isn’t there.”
Portis also said his time in D.C. had been a bit of a love-hate relationship, but did express his appreciation for the coaches and owner Dan Snyder.
But when it comes right down to it, money, not relationships, probably sealed Portis’s fate. The often injured running back would have been due $8 million next year, and he apparently wasn’t willing to take a pay cut.
That’s a big asking price for an aging player who has seen his numbers drop off greatly. Portis played only five games last year, recorded only 227 yards and ran for only two touchdowns. In six of his first seven years in the league, Portis averaged almost 1,500 yards a season.