Brian Westbrook wants to continue his career even if the Eagles have made it known that it won't be in Philadelphia.
The veteran running back might be a good fit in Chicago, where he has the all-around skills to excel in offensive coordinator Mike Martz's system and would complement Matt Forte.
"Brian is one of the greatest Eagles of all time and he is even a better person and leader," Eagles coach Andy Reid said. "In my mind, there has not been a more versatile running back that the NFL has seen. I had a conversation with Brian this morning to let him know. This is by far the most difficult part of this job. We wanted to make this move now in order to maximize Brian's chances of landing with another NFL team."
Signing the nine-year veteran isn't without risks. Westbrook has had knee and ankle problems and the repeated concussions he suffered in 2009 jeopardized his career.
"Brian Westbrook is one of the most electric players in the history of this franchise and is certainly also one of the most popular," Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said. "He was personally one of the my favorite players to watch each and every Sunday and his playmaking abilities, leadership and values will be missed."
Said Eagles president Joe Banner: "We all know how valuable Brian was as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles and he will certainly go down as one of the greatest Eagles of all time. But what really showed me how special a person Brian is, was watching the way he interacted with my children. That said more to me about Brian than anything else he could have done on the playing field. We will miss him both as a person and as a player."
Westbrook's days of being a workhorse are over. For the right price, however, he may be worth a look as a veteran change-of-pace back who can also do serious damage in the passing game. His medical history is a real concern. But if he remains healthy he could thrive in a limited role in the right offense.