In just two days this week, two major NFL running backs have gotten the axe.
I can only imagine what is going to happen today.
A day after the San Diego Chargers cut future Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson , the Philadelphia Eagles have announced that they, too, will sever ties with do-it-all running back Brian Westbrook. Just like with Tomlinson, there has been plenty of reaction around the web regarding Westy’s imminent departure:
- Brian Westbrook will be released by Eagles [FFToolBox]
- Eagles Release Brian Westbrook [The Fifth Down]
- Westbrook has permission to talk to other teams in advance of release [ProFootballTalk]
All of this action got me thinking: Including Jamal Lewis, three of the league’s most prominent running backs during the last decade have been released from their respective teams this offseason. Their numbers, as follows:
LaDainian Tomlinson : 12,490 rushing yards, 138 touchdowns; 3,955 receiving yards, 15 touchdowns
Jamal Lewis : 10,607 rushing yards, 58 touchdowns; 1,879 receiving yards, four touchdowns
Brian Westbrook : 5,995 rushing yards, 37 touchdowns; 3,790 receiving yards, 29 touchdowns
What surprised me most about this compilation is how few rushing yards Westbrook has compared to the other two. For as long as it seems he has been around and how much we have heard about his “greatness”, he does not even have half of the rushing yards of Tomlinson and just a little more than half those of Lewis.
Of the three, Tomlinson is the only lock for the HoF. Without looking at the numbers of other HoF running backs, I am going to speculate that neither Lewis nor Westbrook earn a bust in Canton.
Here are today’s great reads:
- In advance of the NFL Scouting Combine: Classic videos of combines past . The perfect gift for the person in your life who cannot get enough football, which is probably you. [The Big Lead]
- Chad OchoCinco — I gave in and stopped calling him Chad Johnson long ago — continues to lobby on behalf of Terrell Owens this offseason. It would be quite entertaining to see these guys on the same team, and what better place than Cincinnati. [ProFootballTalk]
- When Anthony Gonzalez went down with a knee injury early in 2009, the Colts did not miss a beat thanks in large part to the emergence of Pierre Garcon. Now that he added a stellar postseason to his resume, Garcon is an intriguing fantasy football prospect heading into the 2010 season. [FanHouse]
- If you play in a keeper league, fantasy football is a year-round activity. That is what makes blogs like The Hazean viable all year long, and lists of potential keeper candidates for the 2010 season relevant even in late February. [CBSSports.com]
- Ole Miss running back Dexter McCluster has speed to burn and looks like the next Reggie Bush-type to hit the NFL. Less pressure on McCluster than was heaped upon Bush, thanks in part to Bush’s tepid success as a pure runner. But what is going good for McCluster is how the Saints have shown teams to use a player of his skill-set in an efficient and productive manner. [Shutdown Corner]