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Looking back at the Witherspoon/Gibson trade

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  • Looking back at the Witherspoon/Gibson trade

    As you know, just before the trade deadline the Rams traded LB Will Witherspoon to the Eagles for a fifth round draft pick in 2010 and rookie WR Brandon Gibson.

    Witherspoon had played well after joining the Rams prior to the 2006 season, leading the team in tackles in 2006 with 113, and recording 100+ tackles and 7 sacks in 2007. However, his play in 2008 trailed off, with Witherspoon making only 72 tackles and recording just one sack, and one interception. It was thought that this drop off in production was due to niggling groin and shoulder injuries suffered during the year, but it seems that Witherspoon's play was just in decline. During the first 6 weeks of the 2009 year, Witherspoon had recorded just 33 tackles and no "impact plays" (impact plays being sacks, intcerceptions, forced fumbles etc).

    The Rams realised that Spoon was set to earn $5 million over the two years after the 2009 year, and it seemed obvious that the team intended to cut him to save that money after the season was over. Instead, the linebacker desperate Philadelphia Eagles jumped in with a trade offer, and Witherspoon was shipped to Philly.

    At first, the trade looked terrible for the Rams. A rookie WR and a fifth round pick for a player perceived to be one of the best on the Rams D did not seem like a good return. What was even worse was that Witherspoon, in his first game for the Eagles against the Washington Redskins, racked up 6 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and an interception which he returned nine yards for a TD. Fans were desperate for Gibson to show something to justify the trade, but in his first appearance for the Rams against Detroit, he failed to make a reception in limited duty.

    However, after Witherspoon's "wonder" game against Washington, he failed to make the same impact during the rest of the season. In his remaining ten regular season games for the Eagles he made 53 tackles and no impact plays. Even during the playoff game against the Cowboys he made 5 tackles and one assist, with no impact plays. Outside of that game against Washington, Witherspoon's 2009 season was averaging just 5-6 tackles a game and no impact plays. Not the kind of production you would want from a guy on his contract.

    Gibson, on the other hand, came on strong after the Detroit game and the bye week. His first game for the Rams where he saw significant playing time was against the Saints, he put up 7 receptions for 93 yards. In fact, for the last 8 games of the season, no rookie had more receptions than Gibson. He made 34 catches, the same as ***** WR Michael Crabtree, and the next best rookie was Philadelphia's Jeremy Maclin with 30. Gibson also started 4 games once Keenan Burton went down with an injury.

    In a move that the Rams would have made should Witherspoon have been in St. Louis, the Eagles released Witherspoon to avoid paying his contract over the next two years. The only difference here is that the Rams picked up a draft pick and a promising rookie WR for getting rid of Witherspoon, while the Eagles got nothing.

    In all, i would say that despite the early indications, it was the Rams that came out on top in this trade. Even more so if Gibson continues to develop well as a wide receiver.

  • #2
    Re: Looking back at the Witherspoon/Gibson trade

    I didn't think the trade was bad then, don't now....especially if that fifth round pick pans out ;)


    • #3
      Re: Looking back at the Witherspoon/Gibson trade

      I was waiting for a thread like this after I read that he was released. I have to admit, I failed to see a finish quite like this, but I'm certainly grateful it did!


      • #4
        Re: Looking back at the Witherspoon/Gibson trade

        Oh i didnt think it was bad then either, especially since it was obvious that Spoon was on his way out at the end of the year anyway. I think it was a good job getting Gibson out of the Eagles, as they didnt want to part with him.

        Depending on the draft and FA, and how players recover from injuries, i can see Gibson as the third WR going into the season.


        • #5
          Re: Looking back at the Witherspoon/Gibson trade

          I liked the trade at the time, and I like it even more now. Like shower_beers said, I was waiting for somebody to make this thread. I figured nobody had because it would involve admitting that the Rams organization did something right, so thanks for bringing this up.


          • #6
            Re: Looking back at the Witherspoon/Gibson trade

            I took a wait and see on the trade, and due to my limited memory capacity, I am grateful you took the time to write this up! Thank you Mr. Tomahawk for the nice reporting.

            "The disappointment of losing is huge!"

            Jack Youngblood


            • #7
              Re: Looking back at the Witherspoon/Gibson trade

              Originally posted by tomahawk247 View Post
              Oh i didnt think it was bad then either, especially since it was obvious that Spoon was on his way out at the end of the year anyway. I think it was a good job getting Gibson out of the Eagles, as they didnt want to part with him.

              Depending on the draft and FA, and how players recover from injuries, i can see Gibson as the third WR going into the season.

              I think that unless Gibson somehow regresses, it'll be Avery, Robinson and Gibson going forward, in no particular order.


              • #8
                Re: Looking back at the Witherspoon/Gibson trade

                i didnt like it at the time, as i was wearing my spoon jersey that week and was sad to see one of the best players and characters (as a person) on the team move on, but it certainly was a good trade looking back as i now really like gibson and we picked up an extra pick.


                • #9
                  Re: Looking back at the Witherspoon/Gibson trade

                  WoW were are the people that were probably irrate about it? lol CHALK ONE UP FOR THE FO! Have Faith!!!!


                  • #10
                    Re: Looking back at the Witherspoon/Gibson trade

                    Kept my mouth shut and reserved my judgement till the very end of the season, people sometimes need to be patient and see results before they even make opinions. I assume Gibson won't have a sophomore slump like Avery with Nolan Cromwell as our WRs coach, hopefully I'm right.. ;)

                    ♪ R.I.P. Nujabes ♫


                    • #11
                      Re: Looking back at the Witherspoon/Gibson trade

                      I've been on board with the trading of players, not always with the cutting of players. Even now looking back, I wouldn't have cut Pisa or Draft.


                      • #12
                        Re: Looking back at the Witherspoon/Gibson trade

                        Perhaps this proves the FO shouldn't get ridiculously bashed every time they make a move?

                        What has the FO done since DeSpags has taken over that has really just been stupid?


                        • #13
                          Re: Looking back at the Witherspoon/Gibson trade

                          Originally posted by RebelYell View Post
                          I've been on board with the trading of players, not always with the cutting of players. Even now looking back, I wouldn't have cut Pisa or Draft.
                          I was disappointed to see Pisa get cut, as he was a favourite of mine. But the fact is he was very injury prone. He struggled to make it through any season with the Rams without getting injured, and even if he could play he was often playing through an injury.
                          What were his stats for the 2009 year? 2 games, 2 starts, 4 tackles and a trip to injured reserve with a knee injury. While it was disappointing to see the team cut Pisa, it was a smart move by the FO.

                          As for Draft, well he wasnt exactly a great LB anyway, and i feel his play didnt deserve what he was going to be paid. I think we got just as good from Paris Lenon and David Vobora as we did from Chris Draft, but obviously at a much cheaper price.


                          • #14
                            Re: Looking back at the Witherspoon/Gibson trade

                            The trade was a sad, but good one. Witherspoon was getting old and was way past his prime. Gibson has proved to be a pretty solid and decent WR. I can't wait to see how he develops into our offense. Plus, we also recieved a fith rounder off him too. That could be the next Colston or Brady LOL.


                            • #15
                              Re: Looking back at the Witherspoon/Gibson trade

                              This proves that in the long run it will be worth it.. People like instant results from a trade..


                              Related Topics


                              • eldfan
                                Philadelphia wondered why Gibson what on the field.
                                by eldfan
                                BY JIM THOMAS
                                ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

                                After watching wide receiver Brandon Gibson make one eye-catching grab after another in practice, observers in Philadelphia wondered: Why can't this guy get on the field?

                                Well, Gibson will get his chance. Just not with the Eagles. In a trade-deadline surprise Tuesday, the Rams acquired Gibson and a fifth-round draft choice in 2010 in exchange for starting linebacker Will Witherspoon.

                                Although the Rams are optimistic that Donnie Avery will play this Sunday against Indianapolis despite a sore hip, they are hardly swimming in wide receivers. Since Gibson comes from a very similar offense in Philadelphia, with terminology that's almost identical, the Rams hope he's on the field against the Colts.

                                "Our pro scouts had been following him since preseason," Rams general manager Billy

                                Devaney said. "Philadelphia's done a great job of assembling really good wide receivers. So for a young guy to make the team, a sixth-round pick, that shows that the guy does have ability."

                                Eagles coach Andy Reid said as much in comments to Philadelphia reporters after the trade.

                                "Listen, I normally don't keep that many wide receivers," Reid said, referring to the fact that he kept seven wideouts entering the season. "But I kept him here. So that I think speaks for itself. I think he's going to have a great career in the National Football League, and that doesn't make it an easy situation."

                                A rookie sixth-round draft pick from Washington State, Gibson (6-0, 210) was the school's career leader in receiving yards. With Philly, he had been unable to crack one of the league's deepest receiver corps, appearing in only one game with no catches.

                                "He's got really good hands. Good size. He's a tough guy," Devaney said. "The (Eagles) offense is very similar to what we're doing here. It won't take him long to get up to speed. We'll throw him in the mix and see what he does."

                                All indications are that the trade wouldn't have materialized had not Eagles middle linebacker Omar Gaither suffered a foot injury Sunday. He won't play Sunday and could miss several weeks.

                                "We started off the season thinking we were in pretty good shape at the 'Mike' linebacker spot," Reid said. "We've been banged up here a little bit, so we needed to make this move.

                                "That's the only reason that I would've done something like this."

                                According to league sources, the Rams weren't approached until Monday by Philadelphia about Witherspoon. Unlike baseball, trade deadline moves are rarely made in the NFL.

                                Reports about possible trades involving tight end Randy McMichael and left tackle Alex Barron were unfounded. Nothing came remotely close to materializing with either...
                                -10-21-2009, 08:29 AM
                              • r8rh8rmike
                                Witherspoon "Caught Off-Guard" By Trade; Will Start At MLB In Philly
                                by r8rh8rmike
                                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...
                                -10-20-2009, 07:34 PM
                              • Ramblin` Ram
                                Devaney & Spoon speak about the Trade..
                                by Ramblin` Ram

                                The Philadelphia Eagles addressed their need for linebacker depth Tuesday by acquiring Will Witherspoon from the St. Louis Rams in exchange for rookie wide receiver Brandon Gibson and a 2010 fifth-round draft pick.

                                While appearing on "The Fast Lane" on 101 ESPN in St. Louis, Rams executive vice president/player personnel Billy Devaney said the Eagles first called about Witherspoon late last week. However, the sides didn't strike an agreement until about 30 minutes before the 4 p.m. ET trade deadline, according to Devaney, because the Rams initially were hesitant to trade Witherspoon and insisted on a player and a draft pick in the deal.

                                "Everything is based on what's best for the St. Louis Rams," Devaney said. "We hate to lose Will Witherspoon -- football player and the person -- he's a credit to any organization, on and off the field. But at the end of the day when we looked at what we were getting in return, we thought, again, this is what's best for the Rams, and we made the decision to go forward."

                                Witherspoon also appeared on the radio show and shared his view of the trade.

                                "It was a surprise, but it's understandable," Witherspoon said. "It's a game, but it's a business, too. It's not just a game of your ideals, it's a game about what's better for the whole. I think that both teams came to an agreement that was beneficial situation for the two of them. For me, it's the (opportunity) to go perform again, at a high level with another team."

                                Witherspoon, an eight-year NFL veteran who spent his first four seasons with the Carolina Panthers, was the Rams' starter on the weakside and has 33 tackles and one forced fumble this season. He has recorded more than 100 tackles in a season three times in his career (2004, 2006, 2007) and has missed just two games because of injury.

                                Gibson, a sixth-round draft pick in April, didn't have a catch this season for the Eagles.

                                The Eagles were seeking linebacker help in light of Omar Gaither's foot injury, which he suffered during Sunday’s 13-9 loss to the Oakland Raiders. Gaither started the first three games of the season in the middle before being replaced by veteran Jeremiah Trotter, who signed with the Eagles during their bye week. However, Trotter has received mixed reviews in two starts since returning to Philadelphia.

                                The Eagles’ original starter, Stewart Bradley, was lost to a season-ending knee injury during the preseason.

                                The Associated Press contributed to this report
                                -10-20-2009, 05:07 PM
                              • thoey
                                Witherspoon Traded
                                by thoey
                                Just heard on Fox Sports that we traded Will Witherspoon to the Eagles.

                                -10-20-2009, 01:22 PM
                              • itsguud
                                Will Witherspoon traded to Eagles
                                by itsguud
                                Breaking news Rams get the shaft on deal that sends WW to the Eagles for nobody and a nothing draft pick... but that's just my take. Here is the Rotoworld post.

                                -10-20-2009, 01:21 PM