Saturday, July 26, 2008

"Outperforming One's Contract"

It's a phrase I just refuse to recognize.

The latest to utter it is the Eagles' "Master from DeMatha" Brian Westbrook.

To his credit, despite his vocal displeasure with his current contrat, BWest is in Lehigh at camp.

Said the Eagles' ultimate weapon:

"I'm here now. Hopefully for good, but it remains to be seen. I can't see the future. Hopefully if things go well we can get a deal done. I just want to give my agent an opportunity to talk and see if he can get something done. They're just talking about it and hopefully it will get done soon."

Philly sports columnist Jack McCaffrey (Trentonian; DelCo Times) bring up some great points in his piece today, noting the "sooner he [Westbrook] realizes which side is distributing the favors, the sooner he will get off the Eagles' case."

Here is McCaffrey's case:

  • The Eagles took the risk on the undersized Division I-AA back, the one who once missed an entire season at Villanova with a shredded knee.
  • The Eagles gave Westbrook a new contract, paying him $4 million a year.
  • The Eagles showed the patience not to send out a thumb-breaker to take back the $3 million that they innocently overpaid Westbrook, who resisted returning the check.
  • The Eagles give him every other practice off, to rest his temperamental knee. It is the Eagles who keep pretending he is not prone to injury.
  • And the Eagles reportedly have offered to bump Westbrook's pay by $10 million. That goodwill apparently is enough of a business arrangement to have kept Westbrook from boycotting training camp.
  • He is a downsized mid-major player who has been getting injured since he was in high school, and the Eagles have made him a wealthy man.
  • He is under contract, a fair contract. And yet he is causing static, even when he is not holding out of camp.
Finally: "It takes a special level of greed for anyone to make the Eagles the sympathetic figures in a money issue. But Brian Westbrook -- a sensational player -- has perfected the art of overachievement."

I believe Westbrook will continue to be one of the lone bright spots on the team - provided he stays on the field - but i can't disagree that this guy shouldn't constantly thank his lucky stars for Andy Reid taking a flier on him and putting him in an offense that made him a millionare superstar.

Before he talks about "outplaying his current contract," he should retroactively prorate a refund on all the money he earned on the sidelines with injuries over the last several years. Clearly, in those cases he underperformed contracts built to pay him for entire seasons.


Tracer Bullet said...

Well, when you put it that way, Westbrook just sounds greedy and selfish.

Cluttered_JML said...

I remember when I was a freshman at DM when BWest hurt himself during a slam dunk contest he was having with the other guys on the basketball team. For his sake, I hope he makes it through without major injury, but most of these points here are absolutely spot on.