Eagles Clip Westbrook’s Wings

Eagles will release former Pro Bowl running back

By Dan Stamm
|  Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010  |  Updated 5:12 PM EDT
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Running back Brian Westbrook is done with Philly.

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The marriage between the Philadelphia Eagles and Brian Westbrook has come to an end.

The Birds released their star running back Tuesday, the team announced.

The two-time Pro-Bowler could arguably be the greatest running back (sorry Wilbert Montgomery) in Eagles history. But, he never played a full 16-game season as constant injuries hampered his play.

B-West only played eight games for the Eagles last season as he missed time with two separate concussions. He only scored twice while rushing 61 times for 274 yards and catching 25 balls for 181 yards.

By mid-season rookie LeSean McCoy had replaced Westbrook as the Eagles' main running back.

2009 was a far cry from B-West’s glory days after the Birds picked him out of Villanova in the 2002 NFL Draft. He ran for 1,333 yards in 2007 and 1,217 yards in 2006. And, he holds the team's record for yards from scrimmage (9,785).

No. 36 also had a knack for scoring. He scored 68 touchdowns on catches, rushes and returns in his eight seasons in Eagles green.

Head Coach Andy Reid acknowledged B-West's greatness in a team release:

"Brian is one of the greatest Eagles of all time and he is even a better person and leader," said Reid. "In my mind, there has not been a more versatile running back that the NFL has seen."

B-West's ability to catch the ball out of the backfield made him a unique weapon. He set franchise single-season records in 2007 for receptions (90) and yards from scrimmage (2,104).

The move came as no surprise for followers of the NFL. Running backs 30 or older rarely have much left in the tank and team's often cut ties with their former workhorses especially when they are owed millions -- just ask LaDainian Tomlinson.

"I had a conversation with Brian this morning to let him know," said Reid. "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."

In times like these fans will look back on B-West's bigger moments. Two of the most memorable would be his amazing punt return TD against the Giants in 2003 and his amazing screen TD in the 2008 season playoffs against Minnesota.

The release will save the Birds $7.25 million owed to Westbrook next season. The release won't become official until March.

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