New England Patriots Speculation: Does Clinton Portis Fit the Corey Dillon Mold?

Aaron DodgeAnalyst IMarch 30, 2017

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Multiple reports state Running back Clinton Portis was released a few days ago, marking the end of his seven-year tenure with the Washington Redskins.

Portis joined the 'Skins in 2004 following the blockbuster trade between Washington and the Denver Broncos. The Redskins sent cornerback Champ Bailey and a second round pick to Denver in return for Portis in a highly-criticized move.

Having only played in 13 games over the last two years, Portis, now 30, now finds himself without an employer. He is likely to garner interest, however.

Portis ran for an average of 4.1 yards per carry in his limited work over the last two years, and he's only two seasons removed from back-to-back 1,200-plus-yard campaigns.

Injuries have derailed his past two seasons, but a change of scenery and a lesser workload may help the former All-Pro regain his productivity. With more teams in the market for a quarterback this offseason, it'll be interesting to see who ends up pursuing the aged and injury-prone Portis.

The New England Patriots could conceivably have interest in Portis, seeing him in the same light as they viewed Corey Dillon, who joined the team in 2004. At the time of the trade that brought him to New England, Dillon was an aging yet still effective back looking to achieve playoff success in the twilight of his career.

If the Patriots believe Portis has anything left in the tank, they might consider giving the veteran a look.

Incumbent starter and free agent BenJarvus Green-Ellis is likely to be brought back next season and Danny Woodhead signed an extension through 2012, but beyond those two, the Patriots have a lot of question marks at the running back position.

With multiple needs on both sides of the ball, the team may or may not see the position as a priority when drafting, and it's likely that the team will consider its options on the free agent market. The Patriots will almost assuredly add another ball carrier to the mix this offseason with only two returning to the roster from last season, and Portis may get a look.

It's a long shot that New England would look to a declining veteran to fill their need at running back, but stranger things have happened.