This week's Chain Reactions deals with a likely parting of the ways for one former franchise player in Clinton Portis, additions to another franchise at the NHL trade deadline and what could be ahead for another franchise's future after the NBA trade deadline passed. Plus a pair of local track and field winners hope that translates into higher NFL Draft positions come April.
Redskins set to part with Clinton Portis?
How would you sum up Clinton Portis' Redskins career? Well, Jack Anderson did just that today. I will say this about Portis: it was never boring. His off-field antics were strange (Sheriff Gonna Get You, Southeast Jerome) to say the least, and he never shied away from speaking his mind. Sure, Portis was never the guy he was in Denver here in D.C. However, when he was on the field, you knew he was laying it all on the line. No back blocked better for his mediocre quarterbacks, and he was the driving force in the franchise's two playoff runs. Ultimately, his approach to the off-season may have cost him some extra years in his career. No matter what you think about Portis, you have to admit he was one of a kind.
Day of Dealing For Capitals?
You never know what you are going to get when it comes to trade deadlines in sports. However, if you listen to the guy writing the paychecks, it sure sounds like the Capitals are looking to add something to a team that has been missing something all season.
"We would like to add jump and difference to our team," Leonsis wrote Sunday. "What we don't want to do is dramatically change our team with a rental in exchange for several talented young assets. That isn't what we believe in. Change can be good and it can be bad. I am hopeful we can add some vets to help us improve in the short term. That is our challenge. Wish us luck."
Among the more intriguing deals being talked about involve New Jersey Devils center Jason Arnott, a guy that plays a position of need and a has won a Stanley Cup.
Wizards' Wild Week
It was an eventful post All-Star weekend for the Wizards. First, after two no-show efforts in losses to Indiana and Philadelphia, John Wall called out his teammates. Then, on the day before the NBA trade deadline, the Wizards traded Kirk Hinrich and Hilton Armstrong to the Atlanta Hawks for Mike Bibby, Maurice Evans, Jordan Crawford and a 2011 first-round pick.
The only player in the deal that will be in D.C. beyond next season is Crawford and whoever the Wizards pick in th draft. It is hard to get excited about extra picks in a draft that looks to be very light on talent, but the Wizards believe it is another step in the rebuilding process. The truth of the matter is that no one knows what this NBA offseason holds because of the current CBA is about to expire. There is also lots of talk about owners wanted to wrestle back some power from the players with a franchise tag and an NFL style salary cap. It could be a long off-season.
"We didn't go in it with being judged on wins and losses," Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld said of this season. "What we want to be judged on is the assets we accumulate, how hard we play, how competitive we are, player development and making progress as we go along and putting ourselves in a financial situation where we can make some moves down the road. I think we've accomplished some of those things, but . . . we still have a lot of work ahead of us."
Maryland misses out on another important chance for a big win
Times up on the Terps' hopes of scoring a marquee road win. Maryland lost at North Carolina 87-76 on a night where freshman Terrell Stoglin scored a career high 28 points. If you are looking for a nice spin on why the Terps should be in the Tourney, you will not find it here. This team has not done enough to make the field of 68. The bubble is very weak this year but so is the Terps' record against top teams. They are now 0-6 against ranked teams at the time they played them, tied for 6th in a weak ACC at 7-7 and were swept by the team they are tied with in the standings (Boston College). I said it a few weeks ago and will say it again: the Terps must win the ACC Tournament to get in.
All GMU Does is Win
George Mason continues to roll, and now have the nation's longest winning streak at 16 games. They head into the CAA tournament as the No. 1 seed this week in Richmond. The question is, how high of a seed could the Patriots earn? The latest from ESPN Bracketologist Joe Lunardi has the Patriots as a 7 seed.
Hoyas' Bad Break
A rough week for the Georgetown Hoyas ended with a loss to the Syracuse Orange. That is just a side note in a week where they lost senior point guard and second-leading scorer Chris Wright, who is expected to be back sometime before seasons' end with a broken non-shooting hand. They certainly missed him in Saturday's loss.
"We got the ball where we wanted it most of the time," Thompson said. "But you have to finish the play. You have to put the ball in the basket."
Wright did that as the team's second-leading scorer and top assist man. Now the Hoyas need to learn to win without him for a while and hope he will be back in time for the Big Dance.
Two Terps Are Field Day Winners
A pair of former Terps won field day ribbons at the NFL combine in Indianapolis and perhaps improved their draft stock in the process. Running Back Da'Rel Scott picked up where he left off at the Military Bowl and scored the combine's best 40-yard dash time at his position. Meanwhile, Torrey Smith scored with the fourth-best 40-yard dash time at the wide receiver position.
The combine has become a huge television event and NFL fans will watch anything. However, don't get too crazy about the shorts and t-shirt workouts, because it isn't football. I mean, who ever does a broad jump during a game?