This is the final word on Westbrook for now, barring any unforeseen major developments in the story. At Tuesday's press conference though, Andy Reid refused to discuss whether the club offered to restructure Brian's contract. While making his rounds yesterday for the going away media tour, 36 revealed that they absolutely did not offer to renegotiate, and that neither Joe Banner or Jeffrey Lurie even bothered to pick up the phone.
The second part is a bit of a head scratcher, specifically on Lurie. When you consider how much Westbrook meant to this team's success during the past decade, you would think that warrants a call from the owner. As a fan of the team, are you upset at either the lack of effort to keep him in Philadelphia, or specifically the treatment he received on his way out the door?
Personally, I think people read into these things too much. It's possible after Reid broke the news, Lurie thought it would be best to give Brian some time to digest what happened. I'm sure his phone was very busy that afternoon. And from a football standpoint, releasing him is absolutely the correct decision, no matter how difficult it is. Between injuries limiting his availability, and the similarity in styles with McCoy, going in another direction was justified.
• "Why A Ryan Howard Trade Makes Sense." Interesting viewpoint, as long as you're applicable to the idea of ever trading the slugger. [Crashburn]
• Potentially big signing for the Phillies, adding Brad Wilkerson on a minor league contract. A career .326 hitter at Citizens Bank Park. [Beerleaguer]
• The obligatory "Briant Westbrook should walk away for his own good" story. I don't necessarily disagree, but you know how pro athletes are, always sticking around a few seasons too long. [CBS Sports]
• The Chester Taylor bandwagon grows. Ray Didinger explains why he would be a good fit for the Eagles. [CSN]
But for right now, I think the Eagles need to bring in a veteran to share the load with McCoy. It doesn’t make much sense to have a rookie backing-up a second-year player like McCoy. You need an experienced guy. Chester Taylor is an interesting option. He will be an unrestricted free agent, and even though he is 30, he has never been asked to carry a big workload so he doesn’t have a lot of mileage on his body.
Taylor had a good year in Minnesota backing up Adrian Peterson. He caught 44 passes and played well in the NFC title game when Peterson was benched for fumbling. Taylor understands the role and would accept sharing time with McCoy. He won’t have trouble picking up the Eagles offense since he played in a similar system under Brad Childress in Minnesota. Just a thought.
• Jon Runyan's plot to take over the world is going swimmingly. His main opponent in the primary elections will not run, and threw his support behind the biggest politician ever. [NJ.com]
• Ryan Miller getting plenty of love for his performance in net for USA. [Yahoo!]
• And the Inquirer's own Phil Sheridan has a good piece on the team's 2-0 battle with Switzerland. [Inquirer]
COMMENT OF THE DAY
I agree w/ VP...we need to add a couple players to the D before even thinking about our offense!
Report came out today that Dunta Robinson is going to hit the market...I think him and Carlos Dansby would be at the top of my FA wish list. Could then either say goodbye to Sheldon Brown or try to move him to FS and draft a rookie for future (Mays, Earl Thomas).
While I agree the defense is a priority, there's no reason the Eagles can't focus on addressing all their needs.
As far as specific players, I don't expect them to be interested in Dunta Robinson. With the exception of Asante Samuel, who is one of the top playmaking corners in the league, they've made it a point to develop their own guys in the secondary. Sheldon, Mikell, Hanson, Dawkins, Lito, Michael Lewis, Rod Hood, etc. Doubt they would look at a guy like Dunta, who has a history of injuries and isn't an elite player already.
It also sounds like Dansby has other teams in mind, and the Eagles don't typically spend a ton of money on the position. He would be a nice addition, but I'm not getting my hopes up.
THE EXTRA POINT
Where is the damn snow? Don't tease me with days off, only to have me wake up and find that you were full of it. If you're gonna do this, let's do this already.
Stuck at work. Let me hear it, firstname.lastname@example.org.