Should the ‘Skins bring back Clinton Portis in 2010?

Will the Redskins be handing the ball off to Clinton Portis in the 2010 season?

It’s a good question to ask, because when do you cut ties with a running back who in the past has single handedly put a team on his back to complete a run to the playoffs, and who was also part of the biggest deal in recent memory when Dan Snyder so effortlessly traded away Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey to bring Portis in from Denver.

However, C.P. isn’t the same back. He doesn’t have the same explosive power through the hole, and those days when he used to produce big numbers—including game- changing runs—haven’t happened.

I was a teammate of Clinton’s during the middle part of this decade, and he was a game changer. He ran hard, despite being built like a tailback that should be pressing the edge of the defense instead of running off tackle in the power game. And, I will always remember how he carried us in the 2005 season to the playoffs—running as hard, if not harder, in December than he did on opening day.

But, C.P. played for head coach Joe Gibbs, and to run the ball in Gibbs’ offense, you will take a beating in continuing to grind out yards. That is how that offense was scripted under Gibbs, who still had the “Counter Trey” in the game plan when he arrived at Redskins Park in 2004.

From my perspective, the hits added up, and just like every other running back in this league, they start to have an effect as players reach their late 20’s and early 30’s.

Portis’ situation leaves Snyder, Vinny Cerrato and the “next” Redskins head coach with a big question: do we still want him?

I have heard the numbers and know of the money that C.P. is owed next season, which is for a reported $7 million, but we have to know what franchise we are talking about—and that type of money won’t stop Snyder from making a move if he sees fit.

However, the concussion that Portis suffered this season is an alarming injury for any football player, but more so for a running back—a player that takes a hit every time he touches the ball. And those three-yard gains off tackle can simulate a car accident inside a player’s helmet. Do you want that player on the field, because what is the guarantee that Portis will last another season?

On his weekly radio spot in Washington, Portis sounded calm and cool when it came to his future with not only the Skins, but the entire NFL, saying, “I'm 28, man. I'm not going to be devastated: 'Oh, man, football is over.' I enjoyed it. I had fun doing it. I gave everything I had doing it. I did it to the best of my ability. The day that I sit down and I look back on my career I think I will enjoy the highlights. If I get to continue and I'm not in D.C. and I have to play for someone else, I will give it all I got there as well."

Depending on whom you listen to, Snyder has plans to once again make some major changes in the offseason, and we all know that starts with the head coach. Does C.P. want to start over once again in Washington with a new coach, or do we see him and the Redskins cut ties, with someone else wearing No. 26 for the burgundy and gold in 2010?

This morning, our own Michael Lombardi weighed in on the future of another Redskin, QB Jason Campbell, who has been impressive since Portis went down with the head injury—and I am sure that weighs into Snyder’s decision as well.

What would you do if you were Snyder? Let C.P. go, or give him one more shot? From my perspective, it is time for both sides to split. Both C.P. and the ‘Skins have had their run together, and it is time for Clinton to decide whether he is going to carry the ball again in the NFL.

But, it won’t be in Washington. That gig has dried up.

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