Clinton Portis
Clinton Portis
37-Year-Old Running BackRB
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2019 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Clinton Portis in 2019. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Released by the Redskins in February of 2011.
RBFree Agent
February 19, 2012
Portis' agent, Jason Fletcher, indicates that a handful of teams have expressed interest in his client, who is eying a comeback, reports.
The report adds that Portis has been medically cleared by private doctors to return to football. On the one hand, Portis has plenty of mileage on him, with 2,230 carries, but he is just 30, so if he is in decent shape -- which will hardly be a given -- he could get a chance to help out some team's backfield in 2012.
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Receiving Alignment Breakdown
See where Clinton Portis lined up on the field and how he performed at each spot.
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2018 Clinton Portis Split Stats
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Portis’ yardage total dropped from 1,705 in 2008 to 551 last year, and his TD production fell from nine to just one. Injuries can certainly be blamed, as he appeared in only eight games, but his production really slipped even while healthy, so there are more than a few concerns entering 2010. One is the serious nature of the concussion that eventually landed him on injured reserve last season. Another blow to the head should end his career, as last year’s concussion led to lingering blurred vision and took months to recover from. Portis is still just 29, but he’s been worked like a back two years older than that, already accruing 2,176 career carries (fourth-most among active backs). He’s had a strong career, but Portis hasn’t topped 4.3 YPC since leaving Denver in 2003. While Washington added LT Trent Williams in the draft and Donovan McNabb through free agency, new coach Mike Shanahan once traded him, and Larry Johnson and Willie Parker have both been added to the roster. It’s possible Portis has one great season left in him, but we wouldn’t bet on it.
Portis got off to a fantastic start last year, running for 944 yards (5.0 YPC) and seven touchdowns over the first half of the season. Unfortunately, he wore down after that, scoring just two more times while averaging a paltry 2.9 YPC over the final five games. He didn’t have a run for more than 15 yards over that span. Portis was also unproductive in the passing game, gaining 20 receiving yards during just one game all season. Portis is no longer a burner, but he’s terrific in pass protection and reads holes about as well as any back in football. He was successful at the goal line in 2008, scoring seven times on 12 attempts. Still, this is a back on the brink of breaking down. His age (28 when the season starts) isn’t a concern, but his workload is. Portis has tallied 667 carries the past two seasons, which has easily been the most in the NFL. In fact, it’s 60 more carries than the second most (LaDainian Tomlinson). Because he was worked so hard at a young age, Portis has already accrued 2,052 career carries – fifth most among active backs. The Redskins have a below average offensive line and quarterback and play in a physical division with tough run defenses, so there’s plenty of room for pessimism. Since Ladell Betts hasn’t impressed since 2006, Washington has no recourse but to give Portis all the work he can handle. Still, with four 325-plus carry seasons in the last five years, Portis offers significant injury risk.
Portis shook off early concerns about his knee by playing in all 16 games last season, leading to more than 1,650 total yards and 11 touchdowns. He also established career-highs with 47 receptions and 389 receiving yards. While it seems like Portis has been around forever, he's still just 27, and what he did last season is especially impressive when considering how ravaged the offensive line was by injuries. Although not quite as fast as he once was, Portis is an instinctive runner who hits the hole with authority. His 19 goal-line carries were the third most in the NFL, and his 37-percent success rate was extremely impressive. He's basically rendered backup Ladell Betts, who was once thought a major threat to Portis' playing time, completely moot. Former offensive coordinator Al Saunders' departure could have a negative effect on Portis, but new head coach Jim Zorn has lauded Portis' receiving ability and expects to make him the focal point of the offense. Zorn, who came from the Seahawks, will institute a West Coast offense in Washington, which could lead to some growing pains for quarterback Jason Campbell, as he's been seemingly forced to learn a new playbook every season of his career. Still, the offensive line can only improve after last year’s disaster, and Portis enters camp healthier than he's been in two years.
Portis endured a frustrating 2006, first separating his shoulder in a preseason game and then later seeing his season end with a broken hand in Week 10. Portis appeared in eight games, receiving 20 carries just twice. He actually scored seven times and was more active in the passing game than at any point since coming to Washington, so it wasn’t all bad. Another encouraging aspect is that Portis should enter 2007 with his freshest legs in years, as he saw more than 340 carries in both 2004 and 2005. However, after undergoing multiple offseason surgeries, Portis is questionable for the start of training camp, so monitor that situation closely. Another thing to worry about is Ladell Betts’ emergence. Betts totaled 1,599 yards while starting just half the games last year, finishing the season with five 100-yard rushing efforts in six weeks. As a result, the Redskins rewarded Betts with a contract extension providing $5.5 million in guaranteed money, so he’s going to be involved again in 2007. Still, Portis should receive the majority of the work in the timeshare, especially near the goal line, where Betts failed to convert even a single carry last year. Portis will probably sit on many third downs (Betts is a terrific pass catcher), but sharing some of the load should also better his chances of playing 16 games. Quarterback Jason Campbell was by no means great last year, but he was an upgrade over Mark Brunell and did improve as the season wore on, so the offense shows some signs of promise.
Portis’ career so far has been a case study in what a great offensive line can, and can’t, do for a running back. During his two years in Denver he got fewer than 300 carries a season but still managed better than 1500 rushing yards thanks to 5.5 YPC, and scored 31 TDs with a middling 20.7 percent conversion rate on red-zone touches (24-for-116). With the Redskins, Portis’ raw yardage has remained fairly consistent, but he’s needed 60 or 70 more carries per season to get there because of his low YPCs (3.8 in 2004, and 4.3 in 2005). His red-zone production in Washington has been no better – he’s gotten roughly the same number of touches (107 in ’04-’05) but scored only 15 touchdowns on them, not including a couple of TD tosses on gadget plays. Without the Broncos’ blocking schemes cutting open holes for him, Portis’ size has proven to be the handicap scouts expected when he was drafted. Portis does have impressive assets on a football field though. His speed is electric, and if he gets into the secondary, his breakaway ability is as good as that of any back in the NFL. He also showed in 2005 that he can play through the nagging injuries every player has to deal with, suiting up for all 16 Redskins games after playing just 13 in 2003 and 15 in 2004. Washington’s constant tinkering with the roster could also bode well for Portis. The additions of Brandon Lloyd and Antwaan Randle-El to the passing game should, in theory, force opposing defenses to play off the line and give Portis more room to run. Portis dislocated his shoulder in the team's first preseason game, and while he should be ready for the start of the regular season, shoulder injuries of that type tend to recur with the repeated pounding running backs typically take. There's a lot of upside here, but the shoulder injury adds some risk.
After two absolutely monstrous seasons, especially on a per-carry basis in Denver (5.5 YPC), Portis came crashing back to earth in Washington with a paltry 3.8 yards per rush. Moreover, Portis scored just seven touchdowns after scoring 17 in 2002 and 14 in 2003. The falloff in touchdowns can’t entirely be explained by the inept Washington offense’s failure to move the ball. With Denver in 2003, Portis got 51 carries inside the 20, scoring on 10, and 17 carries from inside the 5, scoring on six. In 2004, he got 45 carries from inside the 20, scoring on just four, and 15 carries from inside the five, scoring on those same four. In other words, Portis was in position nearly as often in 2004 as he was in 2003, but out of 14 NFL backs to get 15 or more goal-line carries, his touchdown percentage was third-worst. Some of that surely had to do with the Redskins’ depleted offensive line which began the season by losing its starting right tackle Jon Jansen with an Achilles’ injury and saw Pro Bowl left tackle Chris Samuels play all season with an ankle injury that eventually required surgery. At 5-11, 205 pounds, Portis has great quickness, speed and cutback ability, but if the hole isn’t there, he’s not going to move the entire pile a la Jerome Bettis. On the bright side, Jansen and Samuels are both healthy at press time, and the Redskins solid defense should continue to keep the team in games and ensure that the running game remains a factor. And Portis, who sat out the last game of the season with a torn right pectoral muscle, is expected to make a full recovery in time for training camp.
Portis is a real wild card this year, moving to a new team with a new coach and a new system. On paper, the diminutive Portis doesn’t fit coach Joe Gibbs’ historic preference for running backs who can hit it up between the tackles, and it remains to be seen whether Portis will be able to withstand the punishment if asked to take on a John Riggins-like workload. Note that last year, only 23 of Portis’ 290 rushing attempts came beyond the 25-carry mark in games. But Portis did get stronger as the game wore on last year, averaging over six yards per rush in both the third and fourth quarters, and Portis also gained a healthy 6.5 yards per rush between the tackles last year (5.6 per rush in 2002). Portis is going to make more of his rushing opportunities than any back Gibbs has ever had. If he can handle the workload, and that’s a big if given his slight build, Portis could post an 1,800- or even 2,000-yard season. Although he’ll never be confused with Riggins near the goal-line, Portis has been effective inside the opponent’s 10-yard-line during his career, registering 18 TDs on 47 attempts. It’s possible that Gibbs, wary of Portis wearing down, will give a bigger back the goal-line carries. If this proves not to be the case, Portis is worthy of the top overall pick.
Portis scored 17 times and had a whopping 5.5 yards per carry in 2002, despite starting just 12 games. Check his game logs from the final three-quarters of the season – he never had a bad game, and he had a lot of huge ones. It's a little scary to think about what Portis might accomplish in 2003 if the Broncos start using him more as a receiver. Last year Portis rolled up 1,872 total yards despite the fact that he was running behind an ordinary offensive line. If the Broncos can make upgrades there – toward that end, they picked a lineman, George Foster, in the first round – Portis could be looking at the type of numbers Terrell Davis put up in his glory days.
More Fantasy News
RBFree Agent
September 27, 2011
Portis worked out and took a physical for the Bengals on Tuesday, NFL Network's Jason La Canfora reports.
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RBFree Agent
September 19, 2011
Portis will reportedly be among the players working out for the Titans on Tuesday,'s Jason LaCanfora reports.
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RBFree Agent
August 19, 2011
Portis reportedly showed up way out of shape for his workout with the Patriots, Greg A. Bedard of The Boston Globe reports.
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RBFree Agent
August 19, 2011
Portis worked out for the Patriots on Friday, the Boston Herald reports.
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Clinton Portis: Released by Redskins
RBFree Agent
February 28, 2011
The Redskins have released Portis, the team's official site reports.
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