By Rich Tandler
The news that Clinton Portis wants to play football again was met with a giant yawn among Redskins fans.
Oh, what, you haven’t heard?
Yes, Portis, who played for the Redskins from 2004 through the 2010 season, has let it be known that he wants to play again after being out of football in 2011. According to Steve Wyche of NFL.com, Portis’ agent said that “a handful of teams” have expressed interest in the running back.
"I'm ready to go back, ready to work things out and I'm open to idea of going out to prove that I can still play," Portis said. "I just turned 30 and with nine years in the NFL and six 1,000-yard seasons that's enough right there to show what I can do.”
Those 1,000-yard seasons represent a nice accomplishment but in the NFL it’s what you have done lately that counts. In Portis’ case, that’s not much.
Portis was on a roll at the midpoint of the 2008 season. He gained nearly 1,000 yards in the first half of the season but just over 500 in the last eight games. Then he finished both the 2009 and 2011 seasons on injured reserve, playing in a total of 13 games and rushing for 724 yards. The Redskins released him prior to the 2011 lockout.
He worked out for six teams last year and didn’t sign a contract. It is not known if one was offered and Portis did not like the terms or if all of the teams simply passed.
And money could well be the key to whether or not Portis plays in 2012. If he is willing to sign an incentive-based deal, he could latch on. If he wants a seven-figure salary or more than a small, token amount of guaranteed money, he may well end up doing things like interviewing Mike Tyson on a full-time basis.