Report: Packers May Sign Brian Westbrook

It's been reported that the Green Bay Packers are "exploring the possibility" of signing former Eagles RB Brian Westbrook. From JSOnline.com:

Though it's unclear whether the Packers are serious enough to sign the 30-year-old veteran, two sources said Monday that the club definitely has shown interest. Westbrook became a free agent when the Eagles released him Feb. 23.

One thing is clear, even excluding injuries, he's not the player he was three years ago.


Rushing Receiving
G Rush Yds Y/G Avg Lng TD Rec Yds Y/G Avg Lng TD
2009 - Brian Westbrook 8 61 274 34.3 4.5 25 1 25 181 22.6 7.2 34 1

Back in 2007, he had 90 receptions in 15 games, and in 2008, 54 in 14 games. That alone is a major dropoff. His 2009 season is similar to 2008 when you consider he missed more games due to injury. He suffered multiple concussions last season, but said it wouldn't be a problem if he's given himself a chance to heal. His biggest problem in Philly was that he wasn't worth $7 million in 2010. Despite a decent 2009 season, many sportswriters do not expect he'll sign with a team next season, in large part due to his long history with injuries and his age (over 30).

While he's no danger to RB Ryan Grant, he would be an upgrade over RB Ahman Green. As much as I support GM Ted Thompson's preference for younger players, it wouldn't hurt to have another positive veteran presence in the locker room. That's assuming he'd be a good presence and not bitter to have been overlooked by so many teams that were looking for a free agent running back.

I liked how the signing of Green turned out last season. The veteran seemed to give the offense a boost with his pursuit for the Packers all-time rushing record. Neither he or Westbrook should be considered a starter, even in the event of an injury. The discussions with Westbrook's agent might come to nothing if the Packers instead have the opportunity to draft a running back they like. My preference would be to sign a veteran running back, either Green or Westbrook, as an injury alternative who's more likely to know how to pass block and protect QB Aaron Rodgers than a rookie. If they want a young running back with some upside, they can always find one to stash on the practice squad.

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