Something interesting hit me today at lunch while I was thinking about Mike Shanahan coming on as the new Head Coach of the Washington Redskins: Where does this leave Clinton Portis?

Clinton Portis was drafted in 2002 by the Denver Broncos and Mike Shanahan.

Clinton Portis was also TRADED by the Denver Broncos two seasons later.

How does Shanahan truly feel about Clinton Portis? There are a few things to consider.

– he was willing to trade him, which doesn’t speak too highly of a runningback with as many rushing yards as Portis got the first two seasons he was in Denver

– Portis was traded in a 1-for-2 deal, with the Redskins having to give up arguably the best cornerback at the time – Champ Bailey – AND a 2nd round draft pick to get Portis. That means the Broncos valued Portis at least more than they did Bailey (albeit saying that Champ was filling a need for them)

Many speculate that next season could be the last for Clinton Portis in the NFL. Some would like to see him leave the Redskins in favor of a younger runningback, possibly hoping to get rid of his front-office influence (see: Cerrato’s previous comments regarding draft picks that Clinton wanted them to make).

Portis could still be a good back-up runningback, though. He’s a pretty good pass catcher, though he’s a phenomenal pass blocker. Will he ever get 1000 yards in a season again? HIGHLY doubtful – whether he stays in DC or not. Will he possibly surpass John Riggins’ mark? He was only 1370 yards away prior to last season, and so if the Redskins keep Clinton around for another year, I think he could very well reach that plateau… and with all the criticism that Riggo has shot at Snyder / Cerrato / Zorn over the past 8 months in YouTube / Twitter videos, I think Snyder & Company might be inclined to try to let Portis reach that next plateau… though if that happens, it could be a sign that the Redskins haven’t changed their ways. Shanahan doesn’t / shouldn’t care about what John Riggins had to say about Jim Zorn or Vinny Cerrato – despite ultimately looking as if Riggo was right about those guys. That’s the old guard. If Riggo has something to say about Shanahan, that’s a different story, but I doubt Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen are going to base their decision around whether or not to keep Clinton Portis based on what John Riggins had to say. I would guess that Daniel Snyder, if asked whether Portis should stay (and possibly retire as a member of the Redskins) might think about what Riggo had to say, look at the stat sheet, and suggest a back-up role for Portis.

The Redskins have plenty of needs they need to address if they want to be a Super Bowl contender in the coming years, so I don’t believe that Jason Campbell or Clinton Portis should expect to still be in starting roles in 2011, but for 2010? Anything’s possible.