Some Players sure make it hard to be a fan
- I can't belive a multimillionare like Portis is trying to stiff a
guy out of $20,000. He probably drops that at the local stip club
on an average weekend.
Just another example of a spoiled athlete that thinks he makes the
rules in life because he can run a 4.3 40 yd dash.
Portis agrees to pay Ohalete $18K
Just one day shy of going to court to settle their digital dispute,
the numbers nuttiness between former Washington Redskins teammates
has been resolved.
Redskins tailback Clinton Portis on Monday agreed to pay former
Washington safety Ifeanyi Ohalete $18,000 of the $20,000 that the
latter claimed he was owed for giving uniform No. 26 to Portis a
year ago. The settlement brought the tab in the case, not including
attorneys fees, to $38,000.
"I really wasn't looking for vindication. I just wanted to get this
thing over with," Ohalete told The Associated Press. "I did my half
and I just wanted what was mine in return.
"It worked out better for me. I didn't want to miss practice," he
According to the agreement between the players, Portis had agreed to
pay Ohalete $40,000 for the uniform number and had already shelled
out $20,000. The remaining $20,000 was in question until Monday,
with the players scheduled for a Tuesday session in a Maryland
John Steren, the attorney for Ohalete, who is now with the Arizona
Cardinals, confirmed the settlement. He said he received a call on
Monday morning from Portis' lawyer, David Donovan, and that the
matter was settled amicably and expeditiously. The settlement did
not include a confidentiality clause.
"It took just a matter of hours and most of that time was spent
trying to reach our clients," Steren said. "I think both players are
glad to put this behind them. They can get on with their business
now. I think they've got bigger things to move on to."
Athletes' attachments to certain jersey numbers is ubiquitous on all
levels, leading to spats when ordering uniforms for church league
softball and deep-pocketed deals between marquee pros.
Eli Manning, for example, had to pay for punter Jeff Feagles' family
vacation to Florida to snag the preferred No. 10 after the New York
Giants drafted Manning with the No. 1 overall pick in 2004. Feagles
also got a new outdoor kitchen in his home from Plaxico Burress when
he gave Burress his No. 17 after the wide receiver signed with New
When Portis signed with the Redskins last year, he immediately honed
in on No. 26, which he wore for two seasons with the Denver Broncos.
However, the number already belonged to Ohalete, who didn't want to
give it up. Protracted negotiations led to a contract signed by
Portis, Ohalete and witness Brad Berlin, the Redskins equipment
"The document is being drawn on June 4, 2004, to verify the
agreement between Clinton Portis and Ifeanyi Ohalete for the sale of
Ifeanyi's jersey number in exchange for monetary compensation," the
It called for Portis to pay Ohalete $40,000 in three installments --
$20,000 immediately, $10,000 by Week 8 of the NFL season and $10,000
by Christmas Day. Portis paid the $20,000 upfront and got his
coveted No. 26. Ohalete switched to No. 30.
But then Ohalete was cut by the Redskins during training camp in
August and was claimed off waivers by Arizona. Portis apparently
felt Ohalete's departure voided the rest of the contract, so he
didn't pay the final two installments.
"I think he's crazy," the AP quoted Portis as telling Sirius NFL
Radio after the suit was filed in late December. "How could you
request something when you got cut, but I would have had the number
anyway. I think he's crazy, so I guess we'll be in court together."