The Redskins released running back Clinton Portis on Monday, ending a memorable 7-year run for one of the team's top performers and personalities.
"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."
"I would like to thank the organization," Portis said. "Dan [Snyder] and Mike [Shanahan] were honest, straight-up people with me. I always appreciated the opportunity from Dan to play here.
"Being a Redskin was a special part of my life. Coming and being in that organization, I turned from a kid having fun to a man carrying responsibilities. I tried to put the world on my shoulders for Coach [Joe] Gibbs and the Redskins fans."
Portis joined the Redskins in March 2004 as part of a blockbuster trade that sent Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey to the Denver Broncos.
Since then, Portis has rushed for 6,824 yards and 46 touchdowns. Both of those totals are second-most in Redskins history behind only Hall of Famer John Riggins.
For his career, which includes two seasons in Denver, Portis has compiled 9,923 rushing yards -- just 77 yards away from 10,000 for his career. He also has 247 receptions for 2,018 yards and five touchdowns.
Portis's career yardage total is ranked 26th in NFL history.
Last Friday at the NFL Scouting Combine, Shanahan indicated that Portis's high salary cap figure would factor into his future with the Redskins.
"With a guy like Clinton Portis, he's a little bit different," Shanahan said. "Here's a guy with a high salary cap, and I've always dealt with it a little differently. If we're not going to sign Clinton to that high salary, I'll let him test the market out. Not to say that we don't want him, but if we want him at a lower price, I always give him that option to go out [in free agency] and try to find the best deal."
Injuries may have played a part in Portis's departure as well.
The 29-year-old running back has suffered season-ending injuries the last two years and three of the last five years.
Last season, Portis was off to a good start when he suffered a groin tear in Week 4 vs. Philadelphia. Out for five games, he came back vs. Tennessee only to suffer an abdominal injury that would sideline him for the season.
Portis played in five games and finished the 2010 campaign with 227 yards and two touchdowns on 54 carries. He also caught five passes for 55 yards.
In 2009, Portis was sidelined for the final eight games after suffering a concussion in Week 9 vs. Atlanta.
Toward the end of last season, Portis acknowledged that his time in Washington could be coming to an end.
"You come to the realization that every game is precious," he said prior to the Redskins' season finale. "You're not in it forever."
Portis said he would love to return to Washington for another season, but he acknowledged that his release was a possibility.
"That's up to them," he said. "That's out of my control. If they want to let me go, then I understand the business side of this."
He disputed the notion that his body is worn down, calling his recent injuries "fluky," and he indicated that he plans to play next season.
"I feel like I have a lot left in me," he said.
Of course, Portis's time in Washington was full of highlights and memorable moments.
He bulked up for Joe Gibbs' offense and slimmed down for Jim Zorn's offense.
He rushed for 1,000 yards four times.
He had a 64-yard touchdown run on his first carry as a Redskin in 2004 and he capped a 23-yard touchdown run with a somersault into the end zone to help clinch a Redskins playoff berth in 2007.
He wore wacky costumes to his weekly media sessions in 2005-06.
And he hosted a radio show and occasionally made controversial comments that drew national attention and scrutiny.
His best season? It may have been 2005, when he logged a franchise-best 1,516 rushing yards on 352 careers and 11 touchdowns. He rushed for 100 yards in the final five games that season to lead the Redskins to a playoff berth.
Along with the single-season rushing title, Portis owns franchise records with nine 100 rushing games in a single season (2005) and 26 career 100-yard rushing games.