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Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Eagles' Shawn Andrews shown the door

By Matt Mosley

In perhaps one of the least surprising announcements of the offseason, the Philadelphia Eagles have parted ways with former Pro Bowl offensive lineman Shawn Andrews. The former first-round pick appeared on his way to stardom with Pro Bowl seasons in '06 and '07, but back injuries caused him to miss all but two games in '08 and '09. He was slated to start at right tackle in '09, but he once again experienced back pain and was eventually placed on injured reserve.

Andrews missed the '08 training camp because of depression. Coach Andy Reid gave him every opportunity to get his career on track, but it became obvious that the former Arkansas Razorback wasn't part of the club's plans. That point was driven home when right tackle Winston Justice received a contract extension during the '09 season.

Last offseason, the Eagles signed free-agent offensive lineman Stacy Andrews, Shawn's older brother, to hopefully be a stabilizing force. But Shawn was back in Los Angeles receiving treatment on his back before the season even started. He had a chance to be one of the best offensive linemen in the game, but his behavior off the field was baffling.

Most of his teammates reached out to him when he went public with his depression, but others wondered if it was an excuse for missing training camp. Andrews has been a prolific tweeter, often firing off dozens of messages per day. He also talked a lot about his interest in the music industry.

Fair or not, he got the label of being someone who didn't love the game of football. And that's a tough thing to overcome in the NFL. Reid showed Andrews a lot of compassion but at some point the team needed to move on. There was no way to count on Andrews being available for the 2010 season, so the team finally had to cut ties.

Quite honestly, no one would've blamed them for doing this a year ago. Perhaps Andrews will make the best of a fresh start with another club, but that's being pretty optimisitic. He gave Eagles fans a couple of really strong seasons. But obviously, he'll always be remembered for what he didn't accomplish.