We all know the NFL is a business that does anything and everything to turn a profit, this is a league with a primary audience in just the United States yet their balance sheet looks better than those of soccer’s biggest leagues – the Italian Serie A and the English Premier League with both leagues boosting of a worldwide audience that makes the NFL’s reach a joke, yet the NFL makes the kind of money those boys only dream of.
We all remember how the Tennessee Titans treated Steve McNeil: locking him out of the facility he help build and more recently the Green Bay Packers maneuvering to get rid of a legend (Brett Favre) after he dedicated over 16 years to the organization.
Tomlinson’s time came after nine seasons, or as he noted, a lifetime in the National Football League. Having established himself as the pre-eminent running back of the new millennium, won a league Most Valuable Player award and set an NFL single-season touchdown record with the Chargers, Tomlinson expressed zero acrimony about the team’s decision to cut him loose at the age of 30.
This is a guy who has delivered for this team for years and yes he did not run for a thousand yard for the first time last season and all of a sudden he’s too old to keep on the roaster? Like him or hate him, he did not deserve to be treated like this.
To make things worse: they cut him so they don’t have to pay him $5 million in bonuses owed to him: That I find very despicable.
Then over in Philadelphia Brian Westbrook who has been the Eagles only true offensive weapon for the last decade was given he’s walking papers.
Why you may ask?
Because he had two concussions last season? No, he was released so the Eagles could save $1.5 million.
He is ranked second in career yardage for Philadelphia behind Wilbert Montgomery and his third with receptions, trailing Harold Carmichael and Pete Retzlaff. He led the Eagles in total yards from scrimmage in 2007 having 2,104, accounting for over 36% of the total offense for the Philadelphia Eagles and after eight seasons of carry this team on he’s back no offer of a restructured deal or pay cut was put on the table for Westbrook to consider, they simply showed him the door.
Soon after his release by the Philadelphia Eagles Brian Westbrook stated that he will not be retiring from football and that he is planning on finding a team to continue his NFL career.
It’s appalling the way NFL teams treat great player and it’s a travesty that the league endorses these practices and the NFL’s excuse? It makes money.
Is Ladainian Tomlinson and Brian Westbrook still fit to play on a high level? I don’t know, the funny thing? Neither the Chargers nor the Eagles know either.
These guys were cut because these teams wanted younger talent on their roaster and they have every right to cut whoever they want and sign whoever they want, but they have to do a better job of handling their most important assets especially a classy guy like Brian Westbrook who stated that he understands that many teams may not be interested in an aging running back and also understands that the Eagles need to do this in order to make room for younger players that will require less salary.
Tell me if you don’t think this is a crime!