News & Info/Headlines

Eagles To Release Westbrook; Veteran's Future Uncertain
The Eagles announced on Tuesday that they will release running back Brian Westbrook.

According to NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora, the move will not become official until March 5 -- but there's no question it's coming.

"Brian is one of the greatest Eagles of all time and he is even a better person and leader," head coach Andy Reid said in a statement issued by the team's official web site. "In my mind, there has not been a more versatile running back that the NFL has seen.

"I had a conversation with Brian this morning to let him know. This is by far the most difficult part of this job. We wanted to make this move now in order to maximize Brian's chances of landing with another NFL team."

The announcement didn't catch Westbrook completely off guard.

Asked earlier this month about the possibility of playing for another team, Westbrook said, "That's part of the business. Like I said, I would love to be with the Philadelphia Eagles for the entirety of my career, but the business says that at some point, you're gonna get fired. ..."

That's exactly what's happened.

As staffer Chris McPherson notes, Westbrook finishes his Eagles career as the franchise's all-time leader in yards from scrimmage (9,785) after being selected in the third round of the 2002 draft from Division I-AA Villanova.

He also ranks 2nd in rushing yards (5,995) behind Wilbert Montgomery and third in receptions (426) behind Harold Carmichael and Pete Retzlaff.

In addition, Westbrook's 68 total touchdowns ranked third in team history behind Carmichael and Steve Van Buren.

He holds the franchise's single season record for most scrimmage yards in a season (a league-leading 2,104 in 2007) and most receptions in a season (90 in 2007). He eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark 20 times (including playoffs) during his career, tying for 2nd most in club history. ...

So, just a day after the Chargers released veteran superstar LaDainian Tomlinson, another aging running back hits the market.

Westbrook, who recent reports suggested was mulling retirement because of left knee problems, said during Super Bowl week interview that he is "just trying to enjoy this offseason and trying to get ready for this next upcoming season."

According to ESPN insider Adam Schefter, the list of possible suitors will be limited by the fact Westbrook -- like Tomlinson -- is over 30 and has a history of injuries.

Westbrook, who was owed $7.25 million this season, missed eight games, suffered two concussions and posted his lowest totals since his rookie year.

And if Westbrook's litany of knee and ankle issues weren't bad enough, last season's back-to-back concussions might be even more worrisome.

Westbrook suffered the first concussion Oct. 26 against Washington when his head collided with London Fletcher's knee. He lost consciousness on the field before eventually getting up and walking off.

He sat out three games and returned against San Diego, but suffered a second concussion. He was sidelined until the final two games of the regular season and then touched the ball just once -- a 27-yard screen pass -- in the playoff loss to Dallas.

Discussing the two concussions, Westbrook said: "I don't think a lot of people are taking [concussions] as serious as they should be because really it is a life or death thing."

Bottom line? Westbrook isn't going to be the most attractive prospect on the free agent market. ...

Meanwhile. ... Westbrook's departure leaves second-year man-to-be LeSean McCoy as the de facto lead back with versatile fullback Leonard Weaver coming off an impressive season as a blocker, runner and receiver.

Worth noting: While there's currently nothing concrete to back his contention other than Tomlinson's desire to finish his career with a championship contender,'s Jim Trotter included the Eagles on his list of possible destinations for LT.

If nothing else, Westbrook's release adds to the intrigue.

Stay tuned. I'll be following up as needed.