Shanahan says RB Portis will stay with Redskins
Clinton Portis isn’t going anywhere in 2010.
Dispelling speculation that the running back may get released, new Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said Friday that Portis will return to the team this season.
“He’s our running back,” Shanahan told me and co-host Gil Brandt during a Friday appearance on Sirius NFL Radio at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Portis’ future with the Redskins came into question shortly after Shanahan became Washington’s head coach in early January. The 29-year-old Portis was limited to 484 yards and eight games last year because of injuries, including a season-ending concussion in November that he is still recovering from. There were also off-field issues. Portis had blowups with two teammates (quarterback Jason Campbell and fullback Mike Sellers) and came under question himself for his work ethic.
Shanahan, though, has a familiarity with Portis that dates to the two seasons they spent together in Denver. Portis rushed for 3,099 yards and 29 touchdowns during the 2002 and 2003 seasons before being traded to Washington for cornerback Champ Bailey. The deal stemmed largely from Portis’ salary demands.
“I don’t go back to what happened the last couple years or listen to differences of opinion. I just know what Clinton did for me,” Shanahan said. “I expect him to be in great shape and do everything he can to be the best player. If he does that, I know what type of ability he has. Hopefully, he can help us win.”
The Redskins wouldn’t receive much of a break financially by releasing Portis. All but $800,000 of his $7.2 million base salary in 2010 is guaranteed.