WESTBROOK CHOOSES AGENT

A league source said that Brian Westbrook hired Todd France as his agent today, but the paper work won't be filed until tomorrow. France replaces Fletcher Smith, who was fired by Westbrook last week after negotiations between the Eagles and the running back had stalled.

It's likely that France will make contact with the Eagles tomorrow and perhaps lay the groundwork for a new round of talks between the two sides. The only other player France represents on the Eagles is linebacker Omar Gaither, a player likely to be targeted by the team for a long-term deal at some point this season.

France and JR Rickert, a 1988 graduate of Holy Cross High School in Delran, had been considered the two finalists to replace Smith. A league source said that several agents shied away from Westbrook because they felt his contract demands would be difficult to satisfy.

That's the challenge now facing France and the stakes are high for both Westbrook and the Eagles.

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