L.T, Chester Taylor, Clinton Portis, Who Will Be The RB For The Skins?

Josh McCainSenior Writer IFebruary 23, 2010

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 13:  Running back LaDainian Tomlinson #21 of the San Diego Chargers runs the ball past Mike Jenkins #21 of the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium on December 13, 2009 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

There are many rumbling and grumblings around Washington D.C. this off season.  The majority have to do with the upcoming draft and what the Redskins should do with the fourth overall pick.

The other, slightly less, rumblings around town are: What to do with Clinton Portis?

There are many within the fan base that have had it up to here (for those of you who can't see me, I'm holding my hand about a foot above my head) with Clinton Portis and his antics.

I've already written an article about what I think the team should do with Portis, as well as their first draft pick (http://bleacherreport.com/articles/344467-a-quick-note-about-the-off-season-for-the-redskins), but I'm pretty sure they didn't read it, and don't care what I think.

However, a new cog has been thrown into the machine. The San Diego Chargers releasing LaDainian Tomlinson.

Many believed this was a foregone conclusion at the end of the season, but I honestly thought his deal would be restructured and he'd stay a Charger.

He didn't though so he's now on the market.

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Despite having a down year last year, I think he's still got some gas in the tank and still has the ability to be a top tier running back in this league.

With that said, he's a pretty sexy signing for Dan Snyder.

Despite everything that has been said in regards to Portis, I think Coach Mike Shanahan had his mind made up about Portis months ago. Whether that is to keep him or let him go, I honestly don't know.

With Tomlinson hitting the market, and Chester Taylor due to hit the market, could that be the nail in the coffin for Portis?

It's hard to say. 

Tomlinson is probably the biggest name in the Running Back game so Snyder could make a big splash that way this off season. 

However, he's 30 years old and coming up on his tenth season in the NFL, and the question would be, Is he a better option than Portis?

Portis has one less year in the league and is two years younger, but has been injury prone the last couple of seasons.

What about Chester Taylor? 

Like Tomlinson he's 30 and has the same amount of seasons as Clinton Portis, but for the last three seasons he's had Adrian Peterson carrying the majority of the load, so there might be more tread on those tires.

In my opinion any of these three backs are a better alternative to Ladell Betts, Rock Cartwright, or Quinton Ganther.

The question I have is whether or not the Skins can afford to make a switch?

Also, a glaring question is whether or not Tomlinson or Taylor would want to come to Washington?

Tomlinson, is no doubt, at the end of his career. If he plays more than two more seasons I'll be surprised, so I would assume he'd want to go to a Super Bowl contender. 

He's been so close so many times that it wouldn't shock me if he ended up as a Patriot next year. The only way I see him not going to a contender is if someone grossly over pays him which I'm hoping the Redskins are past that point in their history.

Taylor, playing the second fiddle for the past three seasons, will probably go somewhere where he will be the featured back. Odds are that will be the highest bidder for his services and that may not include a contender. 

So if the price stays reasonable on Taylor, the Redskins could be a player.

Now we come to Portis. 

I still think he'll be a Redskin next year. Mostly because we won't be able to trade him and if they were going to release him I think they would have done it by now.

With the team coming off a horrible season, one in which Portis's ended early do to a concussion, fans forget just how good he is. 

With the exception of his two injury shorten seasons, he's rushed for more than 1,200 yards every year. His career average is 4.5 yards a carry and last season he was averaging four yards a carry. 

That's not even taking into account his pass blocking which, by the way, the Skins are going to need plenty of as they rebuild the line.

Does Portis run his mouth too much? 

Yes he does. 

Can he be a distraction sometimes? 

Yes he can, but in the end, with a strong head coach in place I think we will notice those things less and less.

In the end though, I'm not sure at all what the Redskins will do at the running back position.  I really think it depends on the draft.

If they go with a quarter back with the 4th pick I think you'll see 26 in the back field next season. 

If they go with the less sexy position of offensive tackle, you could see a sexier free agent signing like Tomlinson (wonder if they'd let him wear 21?).

I think the only way the team signs Taylor is if they release Portis and can't sign Tomlinson.  I'd like to think things have changed around here, but I don't think much will have changed in just one season, and Taylor is not that big of a name to be signed here this late in his career.

So that's what I think. 

Feel free, loyal reader, to express your opinions below. Until next time, take care and Go Skins!


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