posted on Mar, 1 2004 @ 03:13 PM
In a deal that clears the way for his trade to the Washington Redskins later this week, Denver Broncos tailback Clinton Portis reached agreement
Monday on a contract that makes him the highest-paid running back in league history. Portis will sign an eight-year deal that is worth $50.5 million
and includes $17 million in combined signing and option bonuses.
The agreement is a blockbuster not only in terms of the millions of dollars negotiated by agents Drew Rosenhaus and Jason Rosenhaus, but also because
the Redskins were not under any pressure to reach a new deal with Portis. The lack of negotiating leverage on the part of Portis, who had said over
the weekend that he would not hold out of training camp even if he did not get a new contract, certainly adds to the achievement of netting such a
The contract has not yet been signed, but there are no additional hurdles to clear. The deal will become official later this week, as will Portis'
trade to the Redskins for Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey and a second-round draft choice.
Portis, 22, still had two seasons remaining on the original four-year contract he signed with the Broncos as a second-round choice in the 2002 draft.
That contract paid him a signing bonus of $1.29 million but only minimum base salaries for all four seasons. He was scheduled to earn only $380,000 in
2004 and $455,000 in 2005.
Denver officials had steadfastly balked at renegotiating the contract, part of the reason for the trade. The Broncos did, at one point in the
discussions, offer to insure the 2004 portion of the contract.
Technically, because Portis was under contract, the Redskins could have completed the trade without consummating a new deal for the former University
of Miami star. In fact, in recent days, team officials had publicly assumed that stance, insisting they were prepared to move ahead with the trade and
handle Portis' contract situation later.