Why the Denver Broncos Should Be Running Away from Brian Westbrook

Reid BrooksAnalyst IMay 15, 2010

PHILADELPHIA - DECEMBER 27:  Brian Westbrook #36 of the Philadelphia Eagles runs the ball against the Denver Broncos on December 27, 2009 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles defeated the Broncos 30-27.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

A funny thing happened when I recently started a new season on my Madden 2010 for Xbox 360.

On the very first play of the game, Donovan McNabb threw a short pass to Brian Westbrook, who was subsequently hit in the backfield and injured.

A few plays later, the injury update informed me that Westbrook would be out for the season, and all I could think was: "Wow! Madden is getting extremely realistic!"

Obviously, Brian has been taking his time looking at a couple of team recently, and following his release by the Philadelphia Eagles, I honestly expected him to get more immediate attention.

However, the more I think about it the worse it seems to bring Westbrook to Denver.

Correll Buckhalter? I'm game.

Brian Dawkins? Pass me the Kool Aid.

I would have even wanted McNabb.

Westbrook simply is the one Eagle I don't want Josh McDaniels chasing down.

The guy was incredibly good in Philadelphia, when he was healthy, but I see his future in the NFL being nothing more than a money trap for anyone dumb enough to take him.

I am aware that Bill Belichick likely taught Josh to pick up veterans to use them as committee running backs, as New England has done in the past. Even with that considered, I don't want Westbrook.

The guy is one concussion away from a fanhood guilt-trip that I simply don't want to endure during the regular season. He also really doesn't seem to have much value left.

The teams that are interested in him aside from Denver include the St. Louis Rams and the Washington Redskins. His situation with those teams spells out exactly why Denver shouldn't take him.

He is afraid of signing with the Rams because they play on artificial turf, which is likely bad for what has been described as his "aging knees."

Aging knees? I don't want a running back who is concerned about any part of his body "aging," much less his knees. I don't think he could play more than four games next year if he is actually used.

In Washington, Mike Shanahan has been busy assembling the best fantasy football backfield 2006 has to offer. Currently he has Clinton Portis, Willie Parker, Larry Johnson, and he is looking at reuniting Brian Westbrook with Donovan McNabb.

Next he can bring back Terrell Owens, and he can change the name of the team to the 2004 Philadelphia Almosts.

If he has a bunch of old running backs and is still looking to add another, it's because they aren't working out the way he wants them to. Why would I expect Brian Westbrook to be any different, when there is more evidence that he, rather than the others, has had his wheels completely burned off?

The guy was a great player for a long time, but he was also the entirety of the Philadelphia offense for a couple of years. That type of wear kills guys who play his position.

He is 30 years old at a position where the average player lasts three years.

And the reason he is preferring the Rams is he knows there is room in that backfield for him and Steven Jackson. I assure you he isn't hoping for a Supe Bowl win in St. Louis.

Brian Westbrook was avoided all offseason for good reason: many teams saw the writing on the wall.

But unfortunately, Denver is left post-draft with a running back slot to fill on the roster, and for some reason Josh McDaniels is thinking Brian Westbrook is the answer.

That is what happens when you trade away Peyton Hillis and a bunch of your draft picks for two quarterbacks (at least one of whom you are not going to need for long).

With half the picks, Denver could have just brought in Donovan McNabb and then traded up to draft a top running back in this class to complement Knowshon Moreno.