You wish, Denver Post. Whenever the Broncos hear "Redskins" and "trade" in the same sentence, they salivate. The Washington Redskins are fast becoming Denver's farm system. Whether it be Champ Bailey (and a 2nd rounder? Seriously?) for CP or our 3rd rounder for Duckett for Lelie, Denver isn't going to be losing our number anytime soon.
Which is why I remain skeptical when the Denver Post starts "rumoring" Redskins trade prospects. It is either wishful thinking on their part or too potentially depressing to think of from this fan's perspective.
Washington: There is speculation the Redskins might trade running back Clinton Portis. With backup Ladell Betts emerging and Portis' expensive contract, the Redskins may want to move Portis, but it will be difficult.
Even though he is only 25, Portis has a lot of mileage on him, and shoulder and hand injuries cut his season short. Plus, he has been worked hard since being traded by the Broncos. Teams are likely to be interested only if he comes cheap. Don't expect Portis to redo his contract.
First, I call garbage on the "lot of mileage" implications. CP had two (around) 350 carry seasons in a row in 2004 and 2005, which is right around the cusp of too many... but not for a 23 year old (Portis is only 25, now). In his first two NFL seasons he did not break the 300 carry mark, meaning he has plenty of "mileage" on him. With the emergence of Betts as a -- more than -- reliable backup, there's absolutely no reason why CP should be forced or asked to carry the ball more than 320 carries next year.
Secondly regarding those injuries, the hand is no big deal. The shoulder is concerning in that it can be reinjured while blocking, but it isn't as if CP has degenerative knee injuries that could potentially end his career. If teams are truly scared about the impact of a hand and shoulder injury on CP (the latter not even suffered on a run) then he's worth more to us than his potential trade value with scared opponents.
My hope is rumors abounding that CP's injuries are worrisome, if only because I don't want Portis to leave town. The more scared other teams are of those injuries, the less likely they are to offer legitimate compensation for Portis. Of course this is betting that our front office won't trade Portis for a diet coke and a ham sandwich. Which they might. (This is what a 3rd round pick is worth, in D.C.)
I've addressed the key differences between Portis and Betts as runners before. Among other things, Portis is a running back who can find the endzone and can turn a 25 yard gain into a 70 yard gain. Betts is reliable at picking up 10-12 yards, but he cannot break long runs like CP. His career longest rush is 27 yards (from 2004). Readers should remember that Clinton Portis' first carry as a Washington Redskin was a 64 yard TD in a win against Tampa Bay.
These are two different kinds of backs. Betts is a better receiver, Portis a more explosive runner. Both can spell each other. A dual back system, though a nightmare for Fantasy Footballers, increases the long-term durability of both running backs. An overcrowded backfield is the kind of problem most teams wish they had, especially with two RBs as young as Betts (27) and Portis (25).
Does this mean a Portis trade is impossible? No, all offers should be considered. But I would guess that Portis -- and his contract -- are worth more to the Washington Redskins than they are to any other team in the NFL, and I'd rather stick with Portis then continue our recent tradition of being the speed dial when teams want talent... cheap.
Hogs Haven readers: Trade or no? If trade, what would it take?