Redskins release Clinton Portis

If you needed more proof that the Washington Redskins lost the high-profile trade involving Clinton Portis, you got it today.

Portis became an ex-Redskin today, departing 684 yards shy of the franchise rushing record held by Hall of Famer John Riggins, as the team released him. Last week, of course, the Denver Broncos signed cornerback Champ Bailey, the other principal in the blockbuster trade, to a contract extension.

The Redskins have not ruled out the possibility of re-signing Portis, but given how coach Mike Shanahan manufactures running backs, that seems unlikely. Portis was due to earn $8.3 million this season, but he missed much of the last two years with injuries.

Yes, it appears Southeast Jerome, as Portis once referred to himself, will be heading to a new ’hood.

“In Washington, it's nothing left me to prove," Portis said on 106.7 The Fan in Washington, according to the Washington Post. "It's not about the money for me at this stage in my career. It's about winning. I hope to help a team win rings, and that's what I'm looking forward to. Going in onto someone else's team and not having to be worried about Portis, Portis, Portis, and just to be able to contribute in any way I can, that will be a wonderful thing.

"I think missing games the last two seasons provided me the opportunity to rest me up. Coming off the groin injury, being away from the game and being on the outside looking in, before that, I don't even think I was a fan of the game. I think the most exciting thing that I've seen in the last two years was the run (Tennessee Titans running back) Chris Johnson had. But I think it developed and gave me a passion for the game and an appreciation for the craft. A lot of people look at me now and it's a hype situation and who's the man opposed to having that grind for the game and approaching it as a craft, and that's something I want to bring back."

The 29-year-old Portis is 77 yards shy of 10,000 for his career and ranks 26th on the NFL’s all-time list.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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