Scouting Report: Clinton Portis

Why the Broncos let him go: A mix of arrogance and cash. Portis was unhappy with his contract and had threatened to hold out of training camp.

Denver did not want to pay him the contract he wanted -- and eventually would deserve. Also, Broncos coach Mike Shanahan feels he can stick any back in there and get production. Thus far he's been right.

The Good: Portis is a game-breaker. He's fast, he's tough, he has good hands, he picks up blitzes. There's not much he can't do. What's real nice is that he's a hard worker and winning matters to him. He doesn't need much room to create an opening, the mark of a great back. Portis has worked himself into being a true all-around back.

The Bad: He's only 205 pounds. In the always-tough NFC East, will that be big enough to carry him through a season? Other than his size, there's really no knocking this kid. And only time will tell how much size will be an issue. There were some rumors of off-field problems, but people I talked to in Denver were surprised to hear of that. Portis did hold his 21st birthday party at a strip club and perhaps that threw off Shanahan. But that's not illegal -- just typical of a very wealthy young man.

The Verdict: The Redskins gave up a lot for him, trading Champ Bailey and a second-round pick to Denver. Finding shut-down corners is awfully difficult to do. That said, the Redskins have themselves an elite back, one who can change the game in one play. If he continues on the same path he's started, no one will remember the second-round pick they traded to get him.


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