A day after Redskins coach Mike Shanahan hinted that Clinton Portis’ tenure in Washington could be ending, the veteran running back responded.
“If it’s time to move on, I’ll do that,” Portis told 106.7 The Fan in a phone conversation. “I’m appreciative of everything they’ve done for me. I had a good time and enjoyed myself.”
Portis, 29, has missed 19 of Washington’s last 32 games with various injuries. The second-leading rusher in franchise history, he played in just five games last season, compiling career lows in carries (54) and yards (227).
And in addition to being injury-riddled, the tenth-year veteran is scheduled to earn $8.3 million in 2011, a price tag Shanahan didn’t sound like he was willing to pay when he met with reporters at the NFL Combine on Friday.
“With a guy like Clinton Portis he’s a little different,” Shanahan said. “With a guy with a high salary, I’ve always dealt with it a little differently. If we’re not going to sign Clinton to that high salary, I’ll let him test the market out. Not to say we don’t want him, but for a lower price, and obviously we’ll try to find the best deal.”
Portis has spent seven of his nine NFL seasons in Washington. He says he hasn’t heard from the Redskins about his future with the team this offseason.
“I don’t think the Washington Redskins owe me anything,” Portis said. “I enjoyed my time in DC and I think I made the most of my time here. If it’s the end of the road, I’m thankful for my time in Washington.”
Shanahan said that the Redskins haven’t made a final decision about Portis’ future. But he suggested that one might be coming.
“I don’t want to say right now,” Shanahan said. “Could be two days from now, could be three days from now. Could be later today.”
Portis has rushed for 1,200 yards four times with Washington. His 6,284 rushing yards are 684 behind John Riggins for the team’s all-time mark. On Saturday, he sounded like a player preparing to move on.
“I’m appreciative of everything they’ve done for me,” he said. “I had a good time and I enjoyed myself.”