Blog: Portis’ dramatic career comes to an end

Rob Woodfork,

WASHINGTON – Well, that’s a wrap.

Clinton Portis has come to the realization that everyone but he already had: his NFL career is over.

So Portis is making it official with a curtain call at Redskins Park, the last scene of his many, shall we say, interesting performances.

Given the way his oft-dramatic career played out, I think we half expected he’d go out in a blaze of glory, with some largely nonsensical monologue like at the end of Carlito’s Way.

Instead, he’s going out with a whimper: unceremoniously released and relatively untouched on the 2011 free agent market.

Southeast Jerome ends his 9-year NFL run (seven of them in Washington) as one of the most polarizing figures in team history. Many enjoyed his weekly game of dress-up during the 2005 winning streak that landed the ‘Skins in the wild card playoffs.

And yet others see him as a divisive force that kept the team from realizing its potential.

As in many cases, the truth lies somewhere in between.

This is fact: Kid Bro Sweets is the team’s 2nd all-time rushing leader. Of great Redskins running backs like John Riggins, Larry Brown and Stephen Davis, only Riggo topped him in rush yardage. However, Sheriff Gonna Getcha might have the slight edge in personality.

Yet Riggins and his personality are far more loved by Redskins Nation. Partially because Riggo got a ring and Dr. Do Itch Big never did it big enough to come within shouting distance of the Lombardi Trophy.

Some resent the money Dolla Bill made, others can’t stand some of his questionable comments during some of the losing seasons and still others hate that the guy who ran for a 64-yard touchdown on his first carry as a Redskin didn’t make such game-breaking plays on a regular enough basis.

But love or hate him, Coach Janky Spanky was productive. Not many in Burgundy and Gold during the 2000s can say the same. He doesn’t get all the blame for mostly playing on losing teams or for Champ Bailey having the better career.

Speaking of Champ, many will now seek to grade the Portis-Bailey trade now that Coconut Jones is done for good. I’ve always found it outlandish to think that the Redskins got fleeced in the deal. There’s no defending the 2nd round pick going to Denver, and on paper they overpaid for CP26.

But the Skins got their franchise’s 2nd leading rusher in exchange for a player who didn’t want to be here anymore. Denver definitely got the better end of the deal, but the Redskins got the most productive player of the last decade. The T.J. Duckett trade was a fleecing. Portis-Bailey was far from it.

He had his ups and downs in D.C. but personally, I’ll remember Prime Minister Yah Mon as the workhorse that led the ‘Skins to the 2005 playoffs. I’ll remember the play where he grabbed the belt of fullback Mike Sellers and willed his way into the end zone in Arizona. I’ll remember the dude with the silly characters (which was only funny because they were winning at the time) and the dead serious pass blocking ability.

One more thousand yard season and he’d have 10,000 yards for his career and at least a realistic discussion about a bust in Canton. But, alas, his career ends much the same way it existed: good (and sometimes great), but not good enough.

Farewell, Bud Foxx. If nothing else, it was a fun ride.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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