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Witherspoon "Caught Off-Guard" By Trade; Will Start At MLB In Philly

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  • Witherspoon "Caught Off-Guard" By Trade; Will Start At MLB In Philly

    10.20.2009 6:15 pm
    Witherspoon “caught off-guard” by trade; will start at MLB in Philly
    By Jim Thomas
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch


    Will Witherspoon, bruised tailbone and all, will be the starting middle linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles, his new team thanks to Tuesday’s trade-deadline deal that ended his 3 years-plus stay with the St. Louis Rams.

    “You’re taken a little off guard when you get the call,” Witherspoon said late Tuesday afternoon. ”I know decisions are made. I know we’re kind of in the 25th hour on the trade deadline. So it’s not surprising sometimes things like that happen.”

    The Rams traded Witherspoon, who was third on the team in tackles this season (with 36) to Philadelphia for wide receiver Brandon Gibson and a fifth-round draft pick in 2010. As such, Witherspoon will be going from an 0-6 team to a 3-2 Philadelphia squad that’s still considered one of the top teams in the NFL despite last Sunday’s upset loss to Oakland.

    “It means a lot to go to a team that has the opportunity to be a contender,” Witherspoon said. “That’s the way you have to look at it. . . .Yeah, I know I’m leaving kind of a comfort zone here (in St. Louis) being that I’ve been here for almost the last four years.”

    Witherspoon suffered what was described as a hip injury on the second play of overtime Sunday against Jacksonville, and was very sore after the game and on Monday as well.

    “I just hurt my butt cheek,” Witherspoon quipped. “I’ll be all right.”

    Witherspoon indicated he would be in the lineup Monday when the Eagles play Washington. In St. Louis, Paris Lenon will move into Witherspoon’s starting spot at weakside linebacker, with Larry Grant starting at strongside linebacker this Sunday against Indianapolis.

    Next week, the Rams also get linebacker David Vobora back from a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performancing enhancing drugs.

    Financially, trading Witherspoon was basically a wash. Philadelphia inherits nearly two-thirds of his 2009 base salary of $2.5 million _ about $1.62 million _ representing the remaining 11 weeks of the regular season. So that goes off the Rams’ books. But the Rams inherit a cap hit of $1.8 million, representing the remaining (2010) proration of Witherspoon’s original $9 million signing bonus. So it’s a net cap loss of about $180,000 for the Rams.

    Witherspoon has two years remaining on his contract beyond this season, with his base salary bumped to $5 million in 2010 and ‘11. With a $6.8 million scheduled cap count next season had he stayed in St. Louis, there was no guarantee that he would have survived the offseason with the Rams.

    Coach Steve Spagnuolo’s defense seems to favor bigger, collision-type linebackers, and that’s really not Witherspoon’s style. Moved back to the weakside this season after three seasons in the middle for St. Louis, Witherspoon had a quiet 36 tackles in six games. He had no interceptions, no pass breakups, no forced fumbles (or recoveries), no sacks, and only one quarterback pressure.

    In Philly, Witherspoon replaces Omar Gaither in the starting lineup. Gaither suffered a foot injury against the Raiders, will miss the Washington game, and could miss several weeks. Philadelphia coach Andy Reid said the Eagles wouldn’t have been so aggressive in pursuing Witherspoon had Gaither not gotten hurt. Rams sources said the trade didn’t even begin to materialize until Monday.

  • #2
    Re: Witherspoon "Caught Off-Guard" By Trade; Will Start At MLB In Philly

    I thank Witherspoon for all he has done for the Rams! Best of luck in Philly!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Witherspoon "Caught Off-Guard" By Trade; Will Start At MLB In Philly

      So his stats make him sound like he's just a tackler in this new scheme, with only 1 quarterback pressure, no sacks, no fumbles, no nothing. Just tackles. Perhaps that's why they thought he was expendable.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Witherspoon "Caught Off-Guard" By Trade; Will Start At MLB In Philly

        Good to know he will be getting some reps. Good luck Will!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Witherspoon "Caught Off-Guard" By Trade; Will Start At MLB In Philly

          Ya WIll has not been himself for years now... I hate to see him go but such is life

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Witherspoon "Caught Off-Guard" By Trade; Will Start At MLB In Philly

            He doesn't seem to be caught off guard by the interception he just made for a TD.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Witherspoon "Caught Off-Guard" By Trade; Will Start At MLB In Philly

              He was sure caught off of guard by the fumble he just forced....

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Witherspoon "Caught Off-Guard" By Trade; Will Start At MLB In Philly

                Wow am I speechless. In 2 quarters of Philly football, Will Witherspoon already has an Interception, Defensive Touchdown, and a Forced Fumble. Freakin wow........

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Witherspoon "Caught Off-Guard" By Trade; Will Start At MLB In Philly

                  Now the guys in the booth are laughing and whoopin' it up over why the Rams traded Spoon.

                  I sure hope Gibson was worth it.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Witherspoon "Caught Off-Guard" By Trade; Will Start At MLB In Philly

                    Yeah he is tearing it up so far, after what, a week of practice?!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Witherspoon "Caught Off-Guard" By Trade; Will Start At MLB In Philly

                      Originally posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
                      Now the guys in the booth are laughing and whoopin' it up over why the Rams traded Spoon.

                      I sure hope Gibson was worth it.

                      Don't forget that fifth round pick! (barfs)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Witherspoon "Caught Off-Guard" By Trade; Will Start At MLB In Philly

                        a sack a forced fumble and a pick six..shows he didnt totally lose the talent he hasnt shown us for the last 2 seasons..

                        just shows to me that he was coasting with us when we needed a vet leader and im still glad we got rid of him.
                        Gibson is yet to play and nobody has an idea who we gonna draft or trade for with that 5th round pick..but either way..spoon didnt seem interested in BRINGING IT with US anymore so regardless of what he does now with the Eagles the decision to trade him will remain the correct one for US!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Witherspoon "Caught Off-Guard" By Trade; Will Start At MLB In Philly

                          He's playing lights out already for the Eagles.

                          Man oh man what a trade.

                          We essentially got trash in return, for all we know right now. If Gibson was so great why didn't we pick him up ourselves in the draft? We could have grabbed him in the 5th if we wanted to. A rookie 6th rounder with zero catches & a 5th round pick for Witherspoon :o

                          Maybe it's time we reconsider the near-religious belief a lot of us have had that every move that DeVaney/Spagnuolo make is the right one.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Witherspoon "Caught Off-Guard" By Trade; Will Start At MLB In Philly

                            Originally posted by RamOfDenmark View Post
                            He's playing lights out already for the Eagles.

                            Man oh man what a trade.

                            We essentially got trash in return, for all we know right now. If Gibson was so great why didn't we pick him up ourselves in the draft? We could have grabbed him in the 5th if we wanted to. A rookie 6th rounder with zero catches & a 5th round pick for Witherspoon :o

                            Maybe it's time we reconsider the near-religious belief a lot of us have had that every move that DeVaney/Spagnuolo make is the right one.


                            Let's let Gibson show we he can do first, before we call for their heads.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Witherspoon "Caught Off-Guard" By Trade; Will Start At MLB In Philly

                              Originally posted by RamOfDenmark View Post
                              He's playing lights out already for the Eagles.



                              .
                              shame he couldnt play lights out with us the last two years aint it..

                              Comment

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