Earlier in the offseason, the Green Bay Packers expressed interest in free agent running back Brian Westbrook.
The former Philadelphia Eagles star has had injury problems his entire career and missed eight games with concussions in 2009, but when healthy, Westbrook has been a force, twice rushing for 1,200 yards. Now 30, Westbrook appears near the end of his career, but could still provide a team with Super Bowl aspirations veteran leadership and a low-risk, high-reward third-down weapon.
A team like the Green Bay Packers.
Westbrook has been courted by the Washington Redskins, St. Louis Rams and Denver Broncos, but let’s face it, those teams are going to be mediocre at best. Unless he’s just looking to collect a paycheck, there’s really no reason for Westbrook to sign with any of those teams.
At this point in his career, Westbrook wants to sign with a team with legitimate Super Bowl aspirations.
A team like the Green Bay Packers.
Westbrook’s strategy appears to be to wait things out in hopes of finding the right fit. The National Football Post’s Matt Bowen reports that Westbrook is open to signing with the Minnesota Vikings and also tells us why a move by the Packers would make sense.
Vikings TE Visanthe Shiancoe said Westbrook would have “no problem” playing for Minnesota this season and that the RB is in football shape.
Again, it is just talk. But, that doesn’t mean that Westbrook can’t draw interest from a contender. And, this is where I question if the RB would take an offer from a team such as St. Louis. A rebuilding squad who will end up playing rookie QB Sam Bradford at some point in the 2010 season. The impact that Westbrook could provide will be lost for a team that is still learning how to win football games.
That is why a club such as Minnesota—who could have a very realistic role for Westbrook—should at least entertain the idea of giving him a look. The same could be said for Mike McCarthy’s Packers. Adding a veteran presence that can still provide production from a situational role before camp is a bonus, a luxury and something that could turn into a steal.
I always hate speculating about things like this because deep down, I know Packers general manager Ted Thompson probably won’t make a move, even though it makes perfect sense.
The Packers running back depth looks something like this: Ryan Grant, Brandon Jackson, James Starks, Kregg Lumpkin, Quinn Porter.
Grant is the clear-cut No. 1 back. Porter, an undrafted free agent, and Lumpkin, who had one rushing attempt in 2008 and didn’t play in 2009, are unlikely to make the team.
That leaves Jackson and Starks, who are somewhat unknowns.
Starks was chosen in the sixth round of this year’s draft and appears to have a great shot at being the No. 3 back, providing he shows anything in the preseason.
Jackson, a former second-round pick from Nebraska, hasn’t left much of an impression in three seasons in Green Bay. He’s never rushed for more than 300 yards in a season. He’s never turned into a reliable receiving threat.
About the best thing the Packers have ever said about Jackson is he can pick up the blitz.
It’s pretty apparent where Westbrook would fit in and signing him would be a smart move by the Packers.
If Westbrook has nothing left in the tank, the team can simply cut their losses and go with Jackson and Starks. If he does, he provides the third-down weapon the team is lacking and can mentor Starks until he’s ready to take over the role.
Of course, that probably makes way too much sense.
As I have said in other bloggs.”FA when concerning players in the 30’s is a mistake as they look only for the last gasp money and never give the return expected”.
Westbrook has a talent that IS beneficial to the Packers i;e,as stated in this article a Mentor to Starks ,or a Possible 3rd down weapon and I use the term Weapon loosely.
Experience in the NFL and in a situation that is looking at the Packers is valuable indeed.
However,to sign this not so recently released RB,by his former team due to the Concussion issue can be a hazzard to bring to the table.
I’m sure there will be some who couldn’t get the pen in his hand fast enough and doing so would be based on his history of play, maybe legitamized.
However,the caution flags are plain to see as long as the decision makers open their eyes to them.
How many concussion?
How much does he want and should the Pack pay?
Can he really be the(garanteed) offensive piece we need for the 3rd and short?(Whole season)
Do we really want to get into a habit of signing damaged players based on prior ability?
Need I ask more? IDK do you?
Don’t sign this trash. His career is at sunset an he is just a liability. What GB needs to do is ram the 5 wr shotgun set down the throats of other teams, and hammer Ryan grant at 3rd and short. Let’s focus on boosting that battered pass defense, where we really got burned last year.
I agree with Thompson’s strategy of not signing guys like this until they are needed. Someone like Westbrook will be available later, for a smaller signing bonus, if it’s necessary, so whats the rush? Let’s see what Starks can do first. Westbrook doesn’t need preseason reps anyway. And, maybe someone even better gets released by another team. As far as I’m concerned Westbrook with the Vikings, stealing reps from Gerhart is a good thing, as it my retard his growth.
the packers problem on offense is that they have too many talented players and not enough plays to make them all happy. Surely guys like Philbin and MM can draw up some pretty creative plays using personnel already on the roster to take advantage of mismatches? Whether it’s a RB on a LB or a TE like Quarless or Finley, they’ve got options and don’t need someone like Westbrook.
all that being said, I believe you have to take a risk in FA if you want to be successful in it. I think he’d be a great addition at the right price.
Teams looking to sign these type of FA’s are compatible to those people who shop in the CANNED section looking for the damaged goods.You get it for half the price sure, but the product is never as it should be.
Here’s a novelty,shopping for FA’s that aren’t sitting in the damaged goods aisle.
I think Brian Westbrook just wants attention.
Like Abre Froman