Eagles release Witherspoon

The Eagles released linebacker Will Witherspoon, the team announced today.

The 29-year-old Witherspoon was acquired in the middle of last season when the Eagles dealt rookie wide receiver Brandon Gibson and a fifth-round draft pick to the Rams in exchange for the linebacker. 

Witherspoon, in a text message to The Inquirer, said that he understood the move and enjoyed his short stay in Philadelphia.

"I'm cool either way," Witherspoon said. "But plans are to move forward like always. I can't say Philly wasn't a great place to be. Loved the fans and team. Who knows what the future holds."

Witherspoon is now an unrestricted free agent. A message left with Witherspoon's agent, Tom Condon, was not immediately returned.

Witherspoon played weak-side linebacker for St. Louis but was originally brought to Philly to play middle linebacker after Omar Gaither was lost for the season. Witherspoon eventually made it back to weak-side when Akeem Jordan got hurt. Jordan, a restricted free agent, received a second-round tender yesterday. It looks as if Jordan, who played some middle linebacker after he returned from his knee injury, will get his weak-side position back.

Witherspoon was also slated to earn $5 million in base pay this season. The Eagles said they released the 8-year veteran today, the first day of free agency, so that he would have the opportunity to catch on somewhere else.