Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Eagles cut Westbrook

The Philadelphia Eagles have released running back Brian Westbrook, who recorded more yards from scrimmage than anyone in the franchise's history.

Westbrook, 30, suffered through multiple concussions in 2009, playing in just eight games and posting 274 rushing yards, 181 receiving yards and two total touchdowns -- all career-lows since his rookie season.

"Brian is one of the greatest Eagles of all time, and he is even a better person and leader," said Philadelphia head coach Andy Reid. "In my mind, there has not been a more versatile running back that the NFL has seen. I had a conversation with Brian (Tuesday) 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."

Westbrook had been expected to make a big contribution to the Eagles in 2009 but was limited early by an ankle injury. After returning from the ailment, he suffered his first concussion in a game against Washington in Week 7.

He missed the following two games before returning against San Diego, when he was struck in the head again for his second concussion of the year. Westbrook missed the following five games, all Eagles wins, and underwent extensive tests by specialists, who said they expected a full recovery.

Westbrook returned for the final two regular season games and the playoffs in a limited role, as rookie running back LeSean McCoy emerged as a viable offensive threat.

"Brian Westbrook is one of the most electric players in the history of this franchise and is certainly also one of the most popular," said Eagles chairman Jeffrey Lurie. "He was personally one of my favorite players to watch each and every Sunday, and his playmaking abilities, leadership and values will be missed."

Since being selected in the third round of the 2002 draft out of Villanova, Westbrook has totaled 5,995 rushing yards -- second in team history -- 3,790 receiving yards and 68 touchdowns -- all with the Eagles. He also ranks third in team history in career receptions with 426 and holds the single-season marks for most yards from scrimmage (2,104) and receptions (90).

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