One day after the Eagles announced that they would be releasing RB Brian Westbrook following eight seasons in Philadelphia, Westbrook appeared on 97.5 The Fanatic ESPN Radio to squash any talk about retirement and about what comes next.
“I talked to my agent yesterday and he said three or four teams have already called just yesterday after the Eagles announced (the move),” Westbrook said. “My plan is to continue to play. I’m going to put all my effort into that. I’m going to continue to play in the NFL, just not with the Philadelphia Eagles.”
For those Eagles fans disenchanted with the notion of releasing the team’s all-time leader in yards from scrimmage — one year after releasing stalwart safety Brian Dawkins — Westbrook acknowledged that loyalty in the NFL ultimately comes down to dollars and cents.
“In this day and age, right now, it’s hard for teams to keep veterans – especially aging veterans – at a higher salary number, when they can get younger guys that can potentially fill those needs for the money a little bit cheaper,” Westbrook said. “It’s hard for teams to do that, especially when a guy has battled injuries the way I have these last couple of years, a year and a half or so. I understand that. I completely do.”
Westbrook said that no one from the Eagles organization ever approached him about retiring or restructuring his contract.
“I got the phone call yesterday and (coach Andy Reid) just said, ‘We’re going to release you.’ I said, ‘OK.’ Really other than that, there was no communication between me and the team about possibly taking a pay cut or anything like that” Westbrook said. “It was just, ‘We’re going to release you.’ I guess, in their mindset, it gives me an opportunity to latch on with another team through free agency, and I appreciate that opportunity.”
Westbrook also shed some light on the inner workings of the three-year contract extension he signed in August of 2008.
“When I restructured my contract two years ago, whatever it was, the deal with the contract was it was a three-year extension,” Westbrook said. “And I had maybe two or three years left on my contract until … no matter what, those last three years, which would have brought us to 2013, were going to be voided, no matter what. Whether I played for the Eagles, if they kept me for 2010 or not. So those years were really a part of the discussion — a salary cap thing — to get the signing bonus prorated over six years instead of three. So at no point was I expecting them to pick up those three years at all.”