Brian Westbrook, the most lethal weapon on the Eagles' offense, shares more than a first name with Brian Urlacher, the force in the middle of the Chicago Bears' defense.
The two men also share the opinion that they outperformed long-term contracts they signed a few years ago and were deserving of more money. Urlacher, who signed a nine-year, $56.65 million deal in 2003, told Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun Times that he learned his lesson about long-term deals. The nice thing for Urlacher is he still got paid for it because the Bears gave him a one-year, $18 million extension Tuesday, which will allow him to earn $40.6 million over the next five seasons. Only $6 million, however, was guaranteed money.
"I would definitely caution anyone signing a deal that long,'' Urlacher said. ''It's very enticing at the time because it's a lot of guaranteed money up front, and you want to get that security. But at the same time, you don't know how you are going to play, either. You may outplay it."
Westbrook, of course, wants a similar deal to sweeten the five-year, $24.9 million deal he signed in 2005. The Eagles' star running back hired Todd France to handle the negotiations Tuesday and it will be fascinating to see how things proceed. Westbrook is dreaming if he thinks he's going to get $30 million guaranteed from the Eagles, but he wouldn't be that far out of line to seek a deal similar to the one Urlacher just signed because both players have enormous value to their teams. The Eagles reportedly have made Westbrook an offer of an additional $10 million guaranteed.
Eagles coach Andy Reid said for a second time today that he believes Westbrook will report on time to training camp tomorrow evening when the remainder of the team's veterans check in at Lehigh University.