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Monday, February 8, 2010
Clinton Portis, this is your life

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

Redskins running back Clinton Portis has been known to play the "taken-out-of-context" card on a fairly regular basis, which is always interesting because writers are often working off radio and TV transcripts. In fact, Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post has put together a Portis greatest hits quote sheet.

In a recent appearance on the NFL Network, Portis veered off the road when asked to describe what has changed in his career since he was traded from the Broncos to the Redskins:

"The Clinton Portis in Denver was young and fun, not a care in the world, 20, 21 years old, I was having fun," Portis responded. "I had Shannon Sharpe, I had Rod Smith, I had Ed McCaffrey, I had Al Wilson, John [Mobley], I had all these guys who showed me the ropes and brought me along and carried me and helped me out.

"And coming to D.C., it was like all of the sudden in D.C., some of the players feel like it was a money situation, who getting the money is a captain," he continued. "LaVar Arrington was the man in D.C. when I arrived, and all of the sudden LaVar felt like it was competition, and he left D.C. He didn't want to be in D.C. any more. He gave back $15, 20 million to leave D.C., because he felt like he wasn't the main money guy, because everybody was getting [paid]. Laveranues [Coles], myself, Deion [Sanders] was still getting paid, so he even had input. So I think it was just the wrong attitude, and I think for some of the beliefs that was funneled through, it was like whoever gets the money was the captain."

So that's what has changed from Portis' Broncos days? It just seems like an odd response. Surely Redskins fans don't sit around today wondering why Arrington left the team. And I think Coles has been with like 11 teams since those days. Those players shouldn't have any bearing on whether Portis is still a viable starter in the league.

Portis made some horrible miscalculations over the past seven months. Trying to take a shot at quarterback Jason Campbell's credibility as a team captain was childish and disloyal. It wasn't enough for the injured Portis to simply keep his mouth shut and wait for Jim Zorn's firing. He had to take some shots at one of the most respected players on the team. And you guess it. He quickly called Campbell and explained that what he said was taken out of context.

Shanahan and Portis have reportedly had a conversation about the player's future, but we do not know if they came to any conclusion. General manager Bruce Allen said Portis will "help" the Skins this season, but that does not sound like a ringing endorsement.

I think the Redskins would be better off moving on and cutting their losses with Portis. If you disagree with me, there's a chance I was taken out of context.