Portis expects better contract from 'Skins

Updated: February 28, 2004, 12:39 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

MIAMI -- Denver Pro Bowl running back Clinton Portis said a trade to Washington would be "a great opportunity."

The Redskins and Broncos have agreed in principle to a trade that would send Portis to Washington in exchange for Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey. The Redskins would also throw in a second-round draft pick to get the third-year running back, who rushed for 1,591 yards last season.

Though the teams are still negotiating contract terms, the trade is expected to be officially announced next week, ESPN.com's Len Pasquarelli reports.

"I don't know what's going on," Portis said Friday at a charity event held by Indianapolis running back, and former University of Miami standout, Edgerrin James. "If it happens, it happens. ... Obviously, Denver feels like they can't give me a new deal. That's why I'm in this situation."

Portis has two years remaining on his contract -- which paid him only $300,000 for 2003. He said he does not plan to hold out from training camp, no matter who he's playing for.

Bailey was given permission to seek a trade after negotiations for a new contract with the Redskins stalled. Bailey turned down a nine-year, $55 million offer last fall because he disagreed with several clauses in the proposal as well as its overall structure.

Bailey, his wife and agent visited Denver Wednesday to meet with Broncos officials.

New Redskins coach Joe Gibbs and owner Dan Snyder are seeking to upgrade at running back, making a trade for Portis that much more appealing.

"I think Mr. Snyder is trying to get his organization to a Super Bowl," Portis said. "To be a part of that would be great."

In his past, Gibbs primarily utilized a one-back offense, leading Portis to believe he would be a good fit in Washington.

"Coach Gibbs is giving me the opportunity to come in and run his offense with some more capable guys: Laveranues Coles, Rod Gardner and Mark Brunell," Portis said, certainly indicating that he thinks the deal will be completed. "You put me in that situation, who knows what's going to happen."

Brunell has agreed to a seven-year, $43 million contract with the Redskins. His deal is also expected to be completed Wednesday.

Portis said he expects the Redskins to restructure his contract if the trade is approved.

"I don't think the Redskins bringing me on board would keep me in the same situation that I was in," he said.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.

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