Recently, running back Brian Westbrook stated that he would like to return to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Westbrook, of course, was the Eagles running back from 2002 through 2009. He is first in Eagles franchise history in career yards from scrimmage (9,785), receptions in a single season (90), and yards from scrimmage in a single season (2,104).
He is also second in Eagles history in career rushing yards (5,995) and third in career receptions (426).
Although he had a great career with the Eagles, injuries and age limited what he was able to do in his last year with the team. After a solid showing by then-rookie LeSean McCoy, the Eagles released Westbrook on March 5, 2010.
Westbrook is a very popular player among Eagles fans and some fans are eager to have him back.
While I appreciate what Brian Westbrook accomplished in his tenure with the Eagles, I think it is best for Westbrook and the team, that Westbrook simply retire instead.
Westbrook will be 32 by opening weekend of the 2011 season—assuming there is one. Running backs have the shortest career length of any position by far, and running backs over 30 have a long history of being a shell of their former selves.
The thing that makes Westbrook's case even worse are the injuries that he's sustained over his career; Westbrook has had injury after injury and suffered two concussions in 2009.
Another concussion could have severe long-term consequences for Westbrook's health.
The obvious question then becomes: Why risk it?
As an Eagles fan, I do not want my last memory of Brian Westbrook of him being carried off on a stretcher with yet another concussion and forcing him into retirement.
And rather than watch him give it one last go, I would rather remember the good years from early in his career when he was one of the most versatile players in the league.
You've had a great career, Brian Westbrook, but the best move for your health is to just let LeSean McCoy keep the reins, sign a one-day contract, and retire as a Philadelphia Eagle.