Shawn Andrews understands.
That's the message the released offensive lineman wanted to deliver during an interview this evening with Mike Gill of The Sports Bash on 97.3 ESPN Radio in South Jersey.
Andrews was remarkably upbeat to the point where it almost seemed like he was serving as the spokesman for a franchise that cut ties with him Wednesday morning.
"To be honest, I wasn't," Andrews said when asked if he was surprised. "I said actually earlier when I was Twitting. Sometimes when you expect things, it doesn't hurt as much. It was just a matter of when. I knew it was going to happen, or had a feeling. I'm a realist. I knew it was gonna happen sooner or later because they went to their lengths with me, and I appreciate it."
Andrews has clearly gone through the exercise of putting himself in the shoes of the people making decisions within the Eagles' organization. He apologized to his teammates, the city and his fans for being a distraction.
"I think that my whole situation with depression, it brought a lot of hoopla on the positive side and the negative side, and that in itself is just a distraction to the whole organization," Andrews said. "And that's why from a standpoint of me being real with myself first and foremost, as a business, it doesn't look good. And they have to do what they have to do. And I really, really apologize from the bottom of my heart that I had to put the whole city, the fans, my teammates, everybody through what I put them though. And I do apologize until I'm 10 toes to the sky. So everybody's gonna judge me and say what they want, but hey, I love life. Go Eagles."
In terms of his future, Andrews reiterated what he said on Twitter earlier in the day - that he expects to have a future in the league.
Mentally, he said his state is "as good as I've ever known." And physically, Andrews said he's working at a level three or a level four (out of five) in physical therapy.
The question that has been asked so many times over the last couple of years was asked again: Does Andrews still want to play football?
"The doctor that I went to see in Dallas said that if you don't plan on playing football again, I don't suggest you have a surgery," Andrews said. "And I had another surgery. I went through that whole thing, and that let me know, which I hope that it convinced everyone else, that I still want to play football. I still want to be a Philadelphia Eagle, but some things are not in my control."
Andrews spoke glowingly about Andy Reid, as he's done all along, saying the Eagles' coach was there for him on a non-football level throughout his career here.
"He called me this morning. I was like 'Coach, I love you man. I appreciate everything you that have done and the BS that you had to put up with in being there for me,'" Andrews said.
He was asked - why now? If he's in a great mental state, if he's recovering physically, if the Eagles had stood by him up to this point, why did they decide to cut him loose now?
"Last year I didn't play, and I guess I can speak for them. I've become a headache, if you will," Andrews said. "And knowing that I'm getting better is just not a guarantee. There's not much in life guaranteed so they say 'Hey, he's had an OK career, and could come back and kick some butt, but at the same time, we want to move in another direction, we want to go younger, fresher, a guy that probably doesn't have a history of being hurt.' So it could be a lot of reasons why and I don't know. But I respect coach Reid for calling me, and letting me know 'Hey, we're going this way...'"
Andrews said he has not yet talked to his agent, or even his brother Stacy. When asked if he believes he can still play at a Pro Bowl level, Andrews responded, "Hell yes."
"You guys'll see me somewhere hopefully in somebody's jersey in Hawaii and wherever the Super Bowl is."
Earlier today, we posted on Mike Bell and his abilities as a short-yardage back.