Which may or may not be true. Hat tip to Extreme Skins on this Fox Sports... blog? I'm not sure whether this is just some guy writing on it or whether he works for Fox Sports and also maintains his own blog, so know the source. He also lists Santana Moss as overrated, which I find absurd enough not to post here. But a discussion of Portis' value to the team is warranted:
Then he opens with Portis' insane success in Denver as evidence that he's overrated, a tactic I hadn't considered for obvious reasons. There'd be some merit to this if what CP did at Denver was replicated year in and year out by some other RB, yet that hasn't been the case. Reuben Droughns of 2004 (for other reasons as well, mentioned below) was hundreds of yards short of Clinton's 1,508 and 1,591 2003 and 2004 seasons respectively. He also had half as many rushing touchdowns. In fact the Broncos of 2004 had just 13 rushing touchdowns, which compares unfavorably to CP alone in 2002 (15) and 2003 (14).
2005 wasn't much different. Neither Mike Anderson (1,014 yards) nor Tatum Bell (921 yards) could touch CP. Both had lower YPC than Portis had in Denver. Portis in 2002 had more touchdowns per carry than either as well.
Same story in 2006. Neither Tatum Bell nor Mike Bell could come close to touching Portis' Denver success in total yards, YPC, or touchdowns per carry. 12 total rushing touchdowns compare unfavorably to Portis in Denver.
So, my first criticism with labeling CP "overrated" given his success in Denver is that no one has been able to replicate it since. If he was as replaceable as the Broncos thought he was, that would not be the case.
Portis' rushing average did drop significantly when he came to Washington, though I will posit a few reasons for that. One, as the author points out, "some" would argue that coaching (and context) play a big role in that, and I happen to be one of them. Starting with conventional wisdom that the pass opens up the run, the 2004 Redskins had the 29th worst passing offense in the league. The 2002 and 2003 Broncos ranked 6th and 23rd respectively.
I'd also point out that, for whatever reason, it appears that overall rushing was less effective in 2004 than it was in 2003. 2004 was anomalous in that every running back in the league struggled on YPC. Among the most productive RBs in the league, not a single player bested the 5.0 YPC mark. I count 6 players who did it in 2003: Jamal Lewis, Ahman Green, Clinton Portis, Kevin Barlow, Warrick Dunn, and Ladanian Tomlinson. The last example is especially instructive, since LT experienced a significant drop in YPC production from 2003 to 2004 similar to Portis. Whereas Portis had 5.5 YPC in 2003, he dropped to 3.8 in 2004. Similarly LT fell from 5.3 to 3.9 (credit ES poster 909997 for pointing this out). In fact all examples are instructive, duh, since no one matched the 5.0 YPC mark in 2004: Jamal Lewis went from 5.3->4.3, Ahman Green went from 5.3->4.5, Kevin Barlow went from 5.1->3.4, and Warrick Dunn went from 5.4->4.2. I don't know why production dropped for the high-end RBs from 2003 to 2004 (though invite reader(s) to speculate below), however there wasn't anything drastically unusual about CP's decline given the context of both a coaching/team change as well as consistent with general trends.
Which is all to say that while I admit RBs are far more fungible than many fans are willing to acknowledge, Clinton Portis is a very good running back relative to his peers. He's had to work a lot harder for fewer yards in Washington than he did in Denver, though let's not forget his impressive end-of-the-season run in 2005 which he closed out as the most prolific RB in Washington Redskins history.
Hogs Haven votes him NOT overrated.