For Brian Westbrook, Will Business Come Before Loyalty with the Eagles?
While Donovan McNabb’s future with the Philadelphia Eagles remains the hot topic of the 2010 offseason, the organization may have to make another tough decision as to the future of another one of their loyal players: Brian Westbrook.
In a recent interview, Westbrook expressed to Dan Rather that he was unsure about his future status with the Eagles—a team with which he’s spent his entire eight-year career.
“I’m not sure. That’s one of those things that really is up to them. I’m under contract another year, and I would love to be in Philadelphia. There’s no other team that I would love to play for more than the Philadelphia Eagles. But it’s a situation where in the NFL, younger, cheaper is better for teams. It’s one of those things. It’s part of the business. I experienced it when I was younger, and I experience a different aspect now. You have to try and find out, for the team, what’s better for them.”
If Eagles fans should be concerned about any part of that interview, it should be, “It’s part of the business.”
Philadelphia has established a reputation as a business-first organization when it comes to members of their organization—especially the players.
Last season, the Eagles performed the unthinkable when they parted ways with long-time fan favorite Brian Dawkins. A player who many thought would wear green until the day he called it quits was denied the long-term offer he wished for simply because management took his age into consideration. They believed he wasn’t the same dominant player from a few years ago and was on the downfall of his career.
So how did Dawkins respond in 2009 during his first season with the Denver Broncos? With 116 combined tackles, a forced fumbled, and two interceptions on the way to his eighth Pro Bowl. So much for a player on the “downfall” of his career, huh?
Whether or not the Eagles decide to take the same approach with Westbrook should be answered over the next couple of weeks. He’s due $7.25 million next season, and with his history of injuries, management has to decide if it’s even worth bringing Westbrook back.
The two concussions suffered last season are just a small chapter in the book of injuries Westbrook’s suffered over his career. In his eight seasons with the Eagles, he’s never managed to play a full 16-game season.
He’s provided fans with plenty of memorable games over the years. His magical game-winning punt return for a touchdown against the New York Giants in 2003 and the 37 combined touchdowns from 2006-08 are notable memories.
However, none of that will matter when Joe Banner and company decide on Westbrook’s fate with the team over the next couple of weeks. The past is enough evidence that the Eagles aren’t afraid to put business first when it comes to deciding the future of their players.
So will business come into play when deciding Westbrook’s future with the Eagles next season? Only time will tell over the next few weeks.
For now, Philadelphia fans will just have to continue enjoying the numerous McNabb rumors as to where he’ll end up next season.
Dan Parzych is the Eagles Fan Voice for NFLTouchdown.com.
He is also the founder of the new NFCEastFootball.com.
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