When the Washington Redskins acquired Clinton Portis during the 2004 off-season, it was expected that he would be the star workhorse of Joe Gibbs' running game.
While Portis wasn't a complete disappointment in D.C., he wasn't the complete success that Redskin fans anticipated.
In seven seasons in the burgundy and gold, Portis compiled 6,824 rushing yards and 46 touchdowns on 1,667 carries, all despite overcoming injuries and having a sub-par offensive line blocking ahead him. However, when you consider that Portis was traded for future Hall of Fame cornerback Champ Bailey and a second-round draft pick, it's quite clear that the Broncos got the better of the transaction.
The Redskins parted ways with Portis on Feb. 28, 2011, but the 29-year-old running back is looking to latch on with a team to prove he still has some tread left on his tires.
It's obvious he will no longer be the featured ball carrier. However, he can still prove valuable as a viable second-string performer or a third-down back.
So, which teams are likely to call on Clinton? Here are nine teams that should be dialing.
This is one of the few teams in which Portis actually has a chance to be the starting running back.
Current first-stringer Beanie Wells struggled through numerous physical ailments in his sophomore season in the pros. This injury bug has already bit the Cardinals this preseason.
Rookie backup Ryan Williams ruptured his patella tendon in the first offensive play of Arizona's contest versus the Green Bay Packers on Aug. 19 and will undergo season-ending surgery
Portis could also benefit from a team with an improved passing attack now that they've acquired tight end Todd Heap and quarterback Kevin Kolb. Those two, along with star wideout Larry Fitzgerald, will make defenses on their heels and may give Portis some room to run.
The Steelers and Tiki Barber pairing didn't work out, so they may go for another veteran back still on the free agent market.
Rashard Mendenhall is a solid No. 1, but Pittsburgh can't trust Issac Redman at the second slot. Plus, Portis' style of running would nicely complement Mendenhall's bruising, attacking ways.
The Lions are a young team that's ready to vault into the NFL's upper echelon. That would make this destination an ideal one a guy like Portis that can add some much-needed veteran leadership.
In 2010, the Lions averaged barely 100 yards per game on the ground. The main reason for this poor production was because starting rookie Jahvid Best was derailed often by injuries. Best's physical health has taken a turn for the worst at both the college and pro level, meaning the Lions should be ready at all times to find a Plan B.
That said, Portis is a better option than current second-stringer Maurice Morris.
The Patriots are a team that routinely picks up veterans who appear to be past their prime and allows them to churn out at least one more quality season.
Fred Taylor's role as playing second fiddle to BenJarvus Green-Ellis now open, giving Portis an opportunity to take up the spot.
New England ranked ninth in the NFL in rushing yardage in 2010, and Portis is a solid choice to hand the ball off to in third-down situations and help the Pats maintain that quality of success on the ground.
Considering that the current No. 2 spot on the depth chart at running back is held by untested Shane Vereen, it wouldn't hurt New England in the least to take a flier on No. 26.
Steven Jackson has been the Rams workhorse for several years. But his yardage has started to slip in recent seasons. Instead of potentially overworking the powerful Jackson, the Rams may be better off in giving him some help.
As is the case in New England, Portis can contribute as a third-down running back as well as a pass catcher out of the backfield, providing young quarterback Sam Bradford another target to throw to.
The offensive line will get better in the draft, and Portis can provide extra blocking for Peyton Manning. He can also be insurance behind Joseph Addai
For a team that ranked 29th in the NFL in rushing yards last season, adding a former Pro Bowler can only be a benefit to the Colts. He would fill in for Joseph Addai—entering his sixth NFL campaign—whenever he needed a breather.
If Addai, who missed half of last season, is hampered with injuries, he could be a suitable fill-in as the primary back if needed.
Portis' blocking ability would be especially crucial in trying to protect a more fragile Peyton Manning.
LeGarrette Blount emerged as the clear starting running back for Tampa last season, rushing for just over 1,000 yards and scoring six touchdowns.
A major problem is that Bucs don't have much depth behind Blount. If Portis is willing to take the lesser amount of carries, this will be a great fit for him. It would also be a benefit for Tampa Bay, who can utilize the pair's differing running styles.
New head coach Jim Harbaugh is scratching his head trying to find some consistency at quarterback. One area that he is not concerned about is running back, thanks to the ability of Frank Gore.
That said, why not make try to make it a little better with a reunion of sorts between two former University of Miami star tailbacks.
Brian Westbrook is no longer San Francisco's third-down ball carrier, giving more reason for the 49ers to go out and pick up Portis. His biggest contribution will be in his blocking ability and to help out an young offensive line that struggled in 2010.
It's unclear when Chris Johnson will begin the 2011 season with the Titans. With that major unknown, Tennessee's brass needs to act quickly in order to help out a running game that could be limited if Johnson needs time to brush the rust off.
With a new head coach and a new man behind center, the Titans don't have much to lose. And with their top player missing out on time to prepare for this year, they would be wise to maintain some talent in the backfield.