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Mike Shanahan On Clinton Portis' Future

Posted by Matt Terl on February 25, 2011 – 3:38 pm

One last post from Larry Michael’s wide-ranging interview with Mike Shanahan (and this one comes from part 1 of the interview, so you can watch it for yourself at the 9:25 mark here).

Michael goes through the guys who have notable questions surrounding them coming out of the season (hence the previous posts on McNabb and Haynesworth), and one of those is running back Clinton Portis, a veteran who’s coming off two injured seasons and carrying a big salary number for next year.

And Shanahan’s answer certainly seems … revealing.
“The thing that I like to do with a guy like Clinton is always be really straight with him,” Shanahan says. “He’s been great for this organization, he’s done a number of good things. We know over the last couple of years, he hasn’t been able to stay healthy. He’s disappointed, we’re disappointed.

“He’s got a high number next year, one that [means] we gotta make a decision on what direction we’re gonna go. I always tell these veteran players that if you’ve got a high number, we’re gonna let you hit free agency. It doesn’t mean we don’t want you, but we think in fairness to you, we want you to check out the market.

“And with a guy like Clinton, all I can say is that we’re gonna be fair to him. And we haven’t made a decision yet, but when we do, we’ll talk to him and let him know what we’re gonna do and kinda go from there.”

Shanahan’s “we haven’t made a decision yet” finish mitigates things a bit, but it doesn’t take much reading between the lines to see what this likely means for Clinton Portis. Toward the end of the season, Portis expressed his disinterest in a potential pay cut, but — unless I’ve totally misunderstood Shanahan here — it’s sounding more and more like that’s his only chance if he plans to stay in D.C.

Watch the rest of part 1 of the interview here; part 2 should be up later today.

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