With all the talk about the Seattle Seahawks' multiple suspensions for violations of the NFL's substance abuse policy, and the allegedly undisciplined environment those suspensions appear to portray, it could be that backup quarterback Josh Portis did his former team a favor when he was arrested in suspicion of driving under the influence when he was pulled over near Seattle on May 5. The Seahawks released Portis on Tuesday, just one day after Portis was seen alternating reps with fellow backup quarterbacks Brady Quinn and Jerrod Johnson.
Portis was traveling 80 miles per hour in a 60 miles per hour zone, and according to the arresting officer, performed poorly in field sobriety tests. He registered .092 and .078 in two breath tests. The legal limit in Washington State is .08. It was not a good time for Portis to mess up, given his shaky hold on a roster spot and the team's possible need to prove a point publicly. Portis, who transferred from Florida to Maryland to California (Pa.) in his collegiate career, made some strides as a backup with Seattle over the last few years by impressing coaches with his athleticism and deep arm, but he wasn't able to work that into a move up the depth chart, especially when Russell Wilson ascended as a third-round rookie in 2012, and Matt Flynn was relegated to the role of highly-paid benchwarmer.
Seattle waived Portis in November of 2012 off the practice squad, and brought him back in April after trading Flynn to the Oakland Raiders, but there was no good reason to hang onto him in the face of his arrest, and some pretty good reasons to make a statement. In addition, the OTA performance of Johnson, a 6-foot-5, 251-pound undrafted free agent from Texas A&M, may have sealed Portis' fate.
So, in a way, the Seahawks might be thanking Josh Portis for doing what he did -- and not being Marshawn Lynch, Richard Sherman, or Russell Wilson when he did it.