LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. – Clinton Portis, a nine-year NFL veteran running back responsible for the two most prolific single seasons in rushing yardage in Washington Redskins history, announced his retirement Thursday at a news conference at Redskins Park.
Portis — who became revered in Washington not only for his production, but also for his colorful personality and his tenacity in pass protection — exits the NFL as the Redskins' second-leading rusher in team history. Portis ranks second in team history in rushing yardage (6,824), carries (1,667) and rushing touchdowns (46). His 1,516-yard and 1,487-yard seasons in 2005 and 2008, respectively, represent the highest single-season rushing yardage totals in franchise history. Including his 2004 and 2007 seasons, Portis is responsible for four of the top 10 single-season rushing performances in the franchise's 80-year history.
"Clinton provided excitement from the very first time he touched the ball as a Redskin and we were lucky to witness every ounce of energy, effort and passion he has given ever since," Redskins Owner Daniel M. Snyder said. "We have been through a lot both on and off of the field and we would like to wish him and his family the very best. He will always be a Redskin and go down as one of the franchise's all-time greats."
Including two seasons in Denver from 2002-03 under Redskins current Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan, Portis appeared in 113 games with 108 starts, 84 games and 83 starts of which came in the burgundy and gold. For his career, he amassed 9,923 rushing yards on 2,230 carries (4.4 yards per carry) with 75 rushing touchdowns. He also contributed 247 receptions for 2,018 receiving yards (8.2 yards per catch) with five receiving touchdowns.
Portis exits the NFL ranked 27th all-time in rushing yardage. Portis is one of only 22 players in NFL history to account for 75 rushing touchdowns in his career, a total that exceeds Pro Football Hall of Famers such as Earl Campbell (74), Steve Van Buren (69) and Thurman Thomas (65).
During his playing career from 2002-10, Portis' 9,923 rushing yards in that time frame were the second-most in the NFL, trailing only LaDainian Tomlinson. Portis also ranked second in combined rushing and receiving yards with 11,941, and ranked third in rushing touchdowns behind Tomlinson (134) and Shaun Alexander (84).
Portis originally entered the NFL as a second-round pick of the Denver Broncos in the 2002 NFL Draft (51st overall). Portis spent his first two seasons in Denver (2002-03), posting at least 1,500 rushing yards and at least 14 touchdowns in each of his first two years. His 5.5 yards-per-carry average across those two seasons was the league's best among players with at least 200 carries. On March 4, 2004, the Redskins acquired Portis in exchange for cornerback Champ Bailey and a second-round draft choice.
Portis attended the University of Miami from 1999-2001 and was an integral part of the Hurricanes' dominant 2001 squad that finished the season 12-0 and is widely considered to be among the elite teams in college football history. Portis finished his collegiate career with 2,523 rushing yards, the fourth-most in school history. His 14 career 100-yard rushing performances at Miami are tied with Edgerrin James for the most in Hurricane annals.
A native of Laurel, Miss., Clinton Earl Portis was born on Sept. 1, 1981. He attended Gainesville H.S. in Gainesville, Fla., where he was a first-team All-State, All-Region and All-Area selection and was named Gainesville Sun Player of the Year. In the last of his three years as a starter, Portis set a school record by rushing for 2,036 yards, averaging 8.0 yards per carry and scoring 26 touchdowns as a senior.