I’m sure you’ve heard all about the comments Howard Eskin made on Sunday night about Brian Westbrook. He said there was “almost no chance” that Westbrook would play for the Eagles again and that he would have a tough time passing a physical to play somewhere else. The reason behind this is Westbrook’s left knee, something he has had trouble with on and off since high school.
There was already plenty of speculation about whether or not Westbrook would return next year; however, Eskin’s comments took everything to a whole new level. His words were strong and he seemed convinced that what he was saying was the absolute truth. Is it? We have no idea. Many people in this town hate Eskin to begin with so they don’t buy anything he says seriously anyway. However, for those with no grudge, it may seem like what Eskin said was true.
Personally, I’m not a huge Eskin fan but I like to make my own decisions no matter who says what. The biggest factor in this whole controversy lies in a number. That number is 7.5 million and is the amount of money Westbrook is set to receive next season. At age 30, Westbrook is no longer capable of being a feature back. The Eagles know this and it is the reason they drafted LeSean McCoy in the second round last year. It proved to be a solid decision as Westbrook only played in eight games during the regular season.
The Eagles went 7-1 in the games Westbrook did not play in, while going 4-4 in games he did participate. When he did play, his contribution was minimal and he was plagued with various injuries. It’s hard to give a guy $7.5 million when there is no guarantee that he’ll be healthy and no guarantee he’ll produce like he did in 2006 and 2007. This is where the problem lies. If the number were something like $3.5 million it would be a different story. LeSean McCoy is going to get his touches next year and rightfully deserves so. It’s not fair to steal touches from him just because you want to “get your money” out of someone else.
Let me say that I have always been a huge Brian Westbrook fan and it hurts to think he might not be around much longer, but it just doesn’t make business sense.