Once again, the Washington Redskins have reworked Clinton Portis’ contract, clearing up cap space and ensuring that he will remain a Redskin for at least three more years. The contract includes a $9.3 million signing bonus in March and a guarantee of at least $15.7 million through 2010. Portis has reworked his contract in each of the last three years, so this is nothing new for the skins.
What is new, however, is that the team seems to be expecting him to participate more in practice and off-season activity. The Washington Post reports that Portis has been notorious for avoiding off-season workouts and unnamed former teammates complained that he was regularly seen goofing off when he does attend. Fortunately there’s signs that he’s been buckling down and working hard this year. Zorn and his people have also indicated that Clinton will no longer receive special privileges that he used to receive, including the ability to take himself out of the game when he felt like he needed to.
At 26, Portis still has time to mature and become an elite back. If he can be a top 10 back while goofing off, one has to wonder if he can break into the top 5 when he buckles down and gets to work. He’s already got the single season record for rushing yards for the team. What else can he accomplish if he puts his mind to it? Perhaps that’s just the homer in me. Perhaps that’s just wishful thinking. But I like that this new regime under Jim Zorn isn’t letting anyone slide. I like that people are buckling down and working hard. We’ll just have to see if it pays off this September when it counts.