Mike Lombardi over at The National Football Post expounds on yesterday's news of reported Green Bay interest in Brian Westbrook. When the report surfaced, I looked at it from a beat writer-player-fan perspective -- BWest showed in flashes last season that if he ever is healthy, he can still be effective, and the Packers' offense is enough like the Eagles' that it would play to his strengths.Mike looks at it more from a management perspective, and questions whether Brian could pass a physical.
That's an interesting NFL phrase, by the way. "Can't pass a physical" might conjure an image of a kindly doctor telling an athlete he needs to quit now for his own good, before he does permanent damage. In reality, the issue is money. Nobody wants to fund the retirement of a player who did nothing for that exec's team. The question the physical answers isn't "is this guy going to need a knee replacement in 10 years?" but more "is this guy going to go down for good in the middle of training camp and stick us for an injury settlement, without ever playing a meaningful down?"
In other words, how good a risk is Westbrook at this point in his career, and how low would the prospective payout have to be for a team to be willing to take a shot?
Mike also alludes to the possibility of a broadcasting career for Brian. I remember when Brian did some reporting for the NFL Network in the playoffs following the 2007 season, specifically the first-round game when the Giants defeated Tampa. Westbrook had to interview former teammate Jeff Garcia after the Bucs' crushing loss, and he pulled it off pretty well. Of course, it helped that Garcia was courteous and expansive.
As a reporter, when I'm covering a player, I try very hard not to let how that player treats the media affect my coverage. But I have to tell you, we always chortle a little when a guy who has no use for us, who frequently takes pleasure in making our lives difficult, decides he wants to move to the other side of the microphone. Sooner or later, he's going to encounter some young dude who treats him the way he treated us. Happens more often than you would think.
The Eagles' site has a handy compilation of fresh mock drafts. The people doing the mocking seem to have a decent grasp of what the Eagles might be looking for at No. 24 (or at least, they agree with me, surely ironclad proof of sagacity.) Don't see Mike Iupati making it that far down the board, at least from the other mocks I've seen. Decent chance all the other guys listed are there. If I wanted Devin McCourty, I might be tempted to see if I could get him with that No. 37 overall pick, in the second round, and go for something else at 24.
One more thing -- after yesterday's blog note about Sav Rocca and Max Jean-Gilles not having signed their restricted free agent tenders, one of the commentors wondered about the April 15 deadline. That's only for offer sheets from other teams to your RFAs. Nothing happens between the Eagles and those two if they don't sign before the 15th. Why wait to sign? You could be indicating displeasure, hoping for a trade. or you could be hoping a suitor appears at the last second. Not happening for Sav or Max, though.