Eagles Put a Smile on Westbrook’s Face With New Contract

(Philadelphia, Pa) — For years I have heard some Eagles fans belly-ache that their hometown team doesn’t sink down to the fans level enough (Lurie’s Comments Scrutinized, Hoagie-gate, Cutting of popular players, T.O Situation, etc). But on Friday August 8th, Eagles’ fans could only exult their team’s management and not complain — no I am not talking about the Birds 16-10 loss to the Steelers — as the Eagles took one to the house by locking up jack-of-all-trades running back Brian Westbrook with a contract with the terms three years, $21 Million with $13 Million guaranteed in ’08 and ‘09.

There is no arguing that the former 2002 third-round draft pick out of Villanova has been the Birds best player the last two seasons producing back to back 1,100 yard plus rushing seasons while establishing himself as one of the NFL’s elite running backs.  Now when people say Larry Johnson, LaDainan Tomlinson, and Willie Parker, the name B-West will be mentioned in the same breath and pay scale.   Westbrook deserves the pay and acclaim that goes along with his new mega contract as he has been the Eagles most valuable player by far the last couple of season doing everything (blocking, catching, running inside and outside, picking up the blitz, returning punts when needed, and even throwing on occasion).  His incredible value to the team can be show by his incredible ’07 numbers of an Eagles record for combine receiving and rushing yards with 2104 yards, over 1,200 yards rushing, and 90 catches (these are LT type numbers). Plus let’s not forget B-West’s incredible season highlight play versus the hated Cowboys of laying down right before crossing the goal line thus forgoing a touchdown in order to cement a road win for the Birds.  Westbrook’s payday does show that “nice guys” do in fact finish first even in the tough world of the NFL

The great move by Westbrook’s new agent Todd France and Eagles contract guru Joe Banner to get the Pro Bowl running back locked up was much-needed and praise-worthy.  The deal took many weeks of hard work and 52 pages including incentives, voidable years, and addendums, but the whole process showed the team’s commitment to their star. Now Westbrook will have the piece of mind he has been searching for plus his bank account will not be lower than players like DeShaun Foster.  Banner said of the deal, “I think it was the most complicated contract I’ve ever seen, It’s definitely the longest contract I’ve ever seen”.

Westbrook didn’t participate in the Eagles pre-season opener as the newly pocket-heavy back was safe and sound on the sidelines.  But B-West was back at work on Sunday at Eagles training camp at Lehigh University as I saw him with a huge smile on his face as was back to work making players tackle air as he whooshed by.  Westbrook said of the deal, “It gives you that peace of mind and confidence that the team has confidence in you”.  

 

Lloyd Vance is a Sr. NFL Writer/Analyst for Taking It to the House and an award winning member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA)

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One Response

  1. Yeah, Westbrook is a monster. Hopefully they can start reducing his work load or he’ll stall sooner or later. I mean, he only had 2100 yards from scrimmage last year? Westbrook is amazing, maybe the number one back in football right now.

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