The Philadelphia Eagles announced on Tuesday that they will release running back Brian Westbrook.
"Brian is one of the greatest Eagles of all time and he is even a better person and leader," said head coach Andy Reid. "In my mind, there has not been a more versatile running back that the NFL has seen. I had a conversation with Brian this morning to let him know. 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."
Westbrook will finish his Eagles career as the franchise's all-time leader in yards from scrimmage (9,785) after being selected in the 3rd round of the 2002 draft from Division I-AA Villanova. He also ranks 2nd in rushing yards (5,995) behind Wilbert Montgomery and 3rd in receptions (426) behind Harold Carmichael and Pete Retzlaff. In addition, Westbrook's 68 total touchdowns ranked 3rd in team history behind Carmichael and Steve Van Buren. He holds the franchise's single season record for most scrimmage yards in a season (a league-leading 2,104 in 2007) and most receptions in a season (90 in 2007). He eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark 20 times (including playoffs) during his career, tying for 2nd most in club history.
"Brian Westbrook is one of the most electric players in the history of this franchise and is certainly also one of the most popular," said Eagles Chairman Jeffrey Lurie. "He was personally one of the my favorite players to watch each and every Sunday and his playmaking abilities, leadership and values will be missed."
Said team president Joe Banner, "We all know how valuable Brian was as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles and he will certainly go down as one of the greatest Eagles of all time. But what really showed me how special a person Brian is, was watching the way he interacted with my children. That said more to me about Brian than anything else he could have done on the playing field. We will miss him both as a person and as a player."
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 1:44 p.m., February 23