Denver Broncos: Could Clinton Portis Be on His Way Back to Mile High?

David SmithContributor IIIFebruary 28, 2011

Could a returning Portis be the 2 in Denver's 1-2 punch?
Could a returning Portis be the 2 in Denver's 1-2 punch?A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images

The Washington Redskins have formally cut ties with running back Clinton Portis.

Portis, you'll remember, was drafted by Denver in 2002 with the 51st overall pick. While in Denver, he managed to run for more than 1,500 yards in each of his first two seasons, netting him an impressive 5.5 yards per carry.

Also, as I am sure you'll remember, he was involved in a blockbuster trade that landed future hall of famer Champ Bailey in Denver before the start of the 2004 season.

At the time, turning out 1,000 yard running backs under the Mike Shanahan system was almost as sure a thing as Paris Hilton being drunk in public. This, at the time, seemed a slam dunk, and it still holds true as Champ is one of the premier players at his position—if not the premier player.

During his time in Washington, Portis seemed to struggle as he and Coach Gibbs never seemed to be on the same page. Portis did find his stride in the 2005 campaign when he posted 1,516 yards, becoming only the third runner in NFL history to post over 1,500 yards in three of his first four seasons.

Since then he has had some struggles posting less than ideal numbers.

The last two seasons have seen Portis on the shelf as he has faced injuries that have allowed him only 13 games in that time span. These injuries, however, are not the kind that one would consider career ending. 

Portis suffered a concussion in 2009 and a groin injury last year. It would appear that he became a casualty of a rather large salary of $8.3 million that would be due to him this year.

It is of note that when healthy Portis is a premier running back in this league. At 29, if teamed with a young runner like Knowshon Moreno, Portis could be the complementary back Denver is searching for.

He already knows what it takes to play here. He is familiar with owner Pat Bowlen and could bring back a certain swagger to the position we have sorely lacked in recent years. Not to mention he can help guide our young up and comer Moreno as to what it takes to be a premier back in this league.

So, what do you think could Portis help? Would the Denver fans welcome him back? Drop a line or two and leave your opinion, and as always thanks for posting.