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Emotional Portis closes book on NFL career

Emotional Portis closes book on NFL career

During Clinton Portis nearly 30-minute retirement speech, the former Redskins running back cried, laughed and teared up some more as he addressed an auditorium filled with former teammates, coaches and current players.

Im closing a chapter in my life that I knew had to end one day, Portis said. I just never knew when it would end.

Today, he added, is that day.

Portis, who has not played a down in the NFL since 2010, officially hung up his cleats Thursday. The 30-year-old retired second on the Redskins all-time lists for rushing yards (6,824), carries (1,667) and rushing touchdowns (46), while his 1,516 and 1,487 yard seasons in 2005 and 2008 are the teams top single-season performances.

On Friday, Portis will be among the 10 players voted by fans and a panel to join the 70 greatest Redskins, owner Dan Snyder announced. Snyder joined Portis at the dais.

Hes one of the greatest 80 Redskins of all time, one of the greatest in the NFLs history, Snyder said.

Some highlights from Portis speech:

--Portis choked up before he began speaking and again when he talked about the sacrifices his parents made so he could have the things he wanted. His mother worked long hours at a nursing home, while his father drove a truck.

--Although hes known as much for his wacky press conference costumes as much as his accomplishments on the field, Portis said he does not have a favorite character. Southeast Jerome and Dolla Bill, Sheriff Gonna Getcha, he said, all served an important purpose.

To me, each character represented how I was feeling at that time, Portis said. Each character represented what we needed at that moment to get through. All of them were fun.

--During his college recruitment, Portis said he had made up his mind to attend Maryland. His mom, however, wasnt having it.

I remember telling my mom Im going to college and Im going to Maryland, he said. From that moment on, she didnt answer a University of Maryland football call and she threw away all the mail. I walked in the house and I said, Did any coaches call? She said, yeah, Miami. I said, Thats it? She said, Thats only one I could remember.

Portis concluded: I kind of realized then that my destiny was Miami.

--At the 2003 ESPYs, he struck up a conversation backstage with a man he did not know. Portis recalled confiding in him, I feel like they dont want to pay me, Portis said to the man, referring to the Broncos.

The man told Portis, Dont worry about money, play the game the way you play it, have fun and enjoy it. I didnt know it was; they vanished into the sunset.

Portis later learned the man was Snyder, whose Redskins traded for him prior to the 2004 season.

--Asked if he had a favorite moment in his nine-year career, Portis said those moments arrived every Sunday right before kickoff, in the tunnel with fellow Miami alums Santana Moss and the late Sean Taylor.

Moments in the tunnel, where me Santana and Sean lined up in the back, knowing that we was running on the field together to represent the Washington Redskins, the University of Miami and to give everyone hope that wanted to play this game, that we were going to play this game the right way, he said.

--Asked if he deserves a spot in the Hall of Fame, Portis said he would leave that to the media to decide.

That would be a great feat, he said. If they could add my biggest attribute, which was heart, I would definitely be there. For the just the numbers, Im not sure. Thats for you all to decide.

--Portis also recalled his arguments with Taylor over which of them had the hardest hit in Sundays game.

The truth would be, Portis said, I always thought he hit harder than me. And I always thought he had the better play.

A lot of me left with Sean, he added.

In a lot of ways, Portis farewell which he delivered without a note in his hand mirrored his career. It was impressive, emotional and high on entertainment value.

I hope in my time as a Washington Redskin that I left an impression on enough people for them to say Clinton Portis was a stand up guy, he said. Clinton Portis was a hell of a worker, that Clinton Portis gave everything he had and left everything he had on the field. Thats fine with me.

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Projecting the Redskins 53-man roster: First cuts approaching

Projecting the Redskins 53-man roster: First cuts approaching

The Redskins are heading in to their third preseason game and next Tuesday the bubble will burst for about a dozen players as they cut their roster down to 75. Then on September 3, just nine days from today, the roster will be cut to 53.  

Many of the roster spots are set but there are enough jobs up for grabs to make the last two practice games interesting.  One important thing to keep in mind is that Jay Gruden said last week that preseason games matter a lot when it comes to trimming the roster to 53. With two games in the books we have a lot of evidence to work with.

Redskins blogger Rich Tandler sorts out the bubble and gives you what he thinks the roster will look like when the make the final cut to 53. 

Go here to see Tandler roster projection.

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Redskins Playbook: Watching for the Stork as practice moves locations

Redskins Playbook: Watching for the Stork as practice moves locations

Thursday the Redskins will take their show on the road, as the team will do their walk-through before the Bills game in front of military personnel at Joint Base Andrews. With Wednesday's whirlwind pursuit of Bryan Stork still somewhat fluid, there will be plenty to watch.

  1. Stork reactions - Players will likely speak sparingly Thursday following their walk-through session but the big question will be about the the former Patriots center. Where does he fit and how do the current players fit in with Stork will dominate the discussion.
  2. Getting specific - So what happens now at the center position? Is Stork a move for depth or to compete with Kory Lichtensteiger as the starting center? What does this mean for Spencer Long, or even more, Josh LeRibeus?
  3. Focus on the game - Despite all the noise surrounding the Stork trade, Washington has a game to play Friday night. A preseason game, yes, but the third preseason game where expectations are starters will play the first half. This is the most important - and for some only - live action before Week 1 against the Steelers. The Skins need to be ready.

Stay tuned all day for updates from @JPFinlayCSN.

RELATED: MONEY MATTERS IN STORK RETIREMENT TALK

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Money matters in Stork's decision to play for Redskins

Money matters in Stork's decision to play for Redskins

The Redskins have announced that they have acquired center Bryan Stork from the Patriots. However, he may never play a snap for the Redskins.

Shortly after the trade for a conditional draft pick was reported in the media, word got out that Stork might want to retire rather than reporting to the Redskins. Brian McNally of 106.7 The Fan said via Twitter that Stork’s thoughts of retirement didn’t necessarily come from health concerns (he has had multiple concussions). The trade took him by surprise and he wasn’t ready to make a move right now, an emotional reaction to being dealt.

Now that he has had a night to sleep on it, Stork might set any feelings aside and look at the cold, hard reality of the situation. He is slated to make $600,000 this year, and that obviously is money he would forego if he decided to retire. But there’s more to it than that.

Stork collected a $477,000 signing bonus when he signed a four-year deal with the Patriots after they made him a fourth-round draft choice in 2014. He has earned half of that money. If he decides to retire he would have to return the other half, or $238,500.

It’s one thing to bypass money you haven’t earned yet. It’s quite another to have to stroke a six-figure check, drawing on money you already have in the bank.

Money isn’t everything, Stork will have banked just over $1 million for two years of work and even of you subtract the bonus he would have to repay he would have a nice financial cushion to make a transition to a life outside of football. 

But if he wants to keep nearly a quarter of a million dollars already paid to him and add NFL-sized paychecks to his bank account in the future he will need to play for the Redskins. People don’t always follow the money but it’s certainly a strong incentive for him to decide to remain the NFL.