The first few days of free agency are always sure to offer a few surprises, but we're not sure anybody saw this one coming. (Well, not too many people... turns out Iggles Blog kinda called it.) The Eagles have parted ways with mid-season acquisition and veteran linebacker Will Witherspoon, who was signed through 2011.
After injuries depleted their linebacker depth early on in '09, the Eagles shipped a fifth round pick and WR Brandon Gibson to the Rams to obtain Spoon. They initially attempted to fit him into the hole in the middle, but his role soon shifted back to weakside where he had been starting in St. Louis.
We're not sure yet what exactly was the problem. Witherspoon was a never a standout, but he had a reputation for being a solid player. After an impressive first game wearing midnight green in which he recorded a sack and interception return for a touchdown against the Redskins, he admittedly faded into the background, though the group struggled as a whole and it seemed an off-season to develop his role might allow him to become more productive.
Most likely, it was partially a financial decision. Witherspoon is scheduled to make $5 million in each of the next two seasons, which sounds like a lot for somebody who was no better than average this past season. Then again, it's not as if the Eagles are loaded with quality players at the position right now, so we're not sure they should have been so quick to release him.
The early conclusion being drawn in the Twitter-verse is the team simply believes Akeem Jordan is the better option, so there was no sense holding on.