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, ESPN.com has learned.
Portis will sign an eight-year deal that is worth $50.5 million and includes $17 million in combined signing and option bonuses, several league sources confirmed for ESPN.com.
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 deal.
The Rosenhauses did not immediately return calls.
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.
Because of the NFL's annual moratorium on trades, the mega-swap of two of the NFL's brightest young stars cannot be announced until Wednesday.
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.
But it made no sense, particularly once the Redskins' offer reached record proportions, to delay an agreement.
Portis has rushed for 3,099 yards, eclipsing the 1,500-yard mark in both of his NFL seasons, and 29 touchdowns. He will become the centerpiece for the run-oriented offense favored by new Redskins coach Joe Gibbs.
Bailey is expected to complete a review of his pending contract with the Broncos later Monday and probably sign it Tuesday. Agent Jack Reale sent back to Broncos officials all requested revisions and Monday was awaiting a copy of the contract's final draft. Reale told ESPN.com there were no impediments to completing the deal, beyond reducing the complicated documente to contract language.
ESPN.com has learned that Bailey's contract will be for seven seasons, not the six that has been widely reported. It could make him one of the highest-paid defensive players in league history.
Ho-lee crap. Who says there are no trades in the NFL?
Joe Gibbs is on the job for a couple of months and already the Redskins are looking a ton better for 2004.
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Shawn Springs, among others, are out there on the free agent market. The draft will have more unproven DBs, but most people agree (espn people) that the skins can get a Baily like back.
If they didn't trade him, Baily would have left. At the end of the season he made it clear he didn't want to be here next here and even said that if they cut Armsted, they should cut him too. The local fox station played that sound bite from december when this deal was announced.
Sadly, I think that dickhead Springs will want to play here and move back home and play for the skins.
If he shows his head in my store again, we have video cameras now. Stupid porn stealing bastard.
I'm slowly trying to sell myself on this deal but.....I just have to hope that the loss of O-Line Coach Alex Gibbs to Atlanta does not hurt the donkeys as much as I think it will. This deal definitely puts more pressure on Jake at QB since teams will not respect Griffin or Anderson the same way that they did Portis.
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Mike Anderson is gone, so you just have Griffin now.
Personally I think this is a win/win trade for the teams. Portis will fit into Gibbs' running schemes. We now have possibly the best young running back in the league playing for us. We knew we were losing Bailey, so getting Portis for him was a huge thing. Denver now has possibly the best corner in the game playing for them. Bailey is awesome. I wish him luck.
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Originally posted by dunkndollazWhere did Anderson go ? I still see him on the donkey depth chart ?
They wanted to cut his salary to the veteran's minimum. Of course, he said "fuck no" and asked to be released. This all occurred when the Bailey/Portis trade just spilled onto the headlines a few weeks back, so I have no idea on the status of Anderson as of now.
I think it might be good for the Packers just avoid Warner and Couch and draft someone like J.P. Losman. Warner is damaged goods and Couch is unreliable, while drafting Losman you have a young guy who can learn and step in when Favre retires.