Rams deny they are close to signing ex-Eagles RB Westbrook

A St. Louis Rams official denied the team is close to signing former Philadelphia Eagles running back Brian Westbrook, despite a report the move was imminent.

Kevin Demoff, the Rams' vice president of football operations, said before Saturday night's preseason opener against the Minnesota Vikings that he hadn't spoken to Westbrook's agent for several days. Demoff told The Associated Press there was nothing to a published report that Westbrook would sign with St. Louis on Monday, although he remained optimistic the Rams remained in the running.

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NFL.com's Steve Wyche reports that a source with knowledge of Westbrook's thinking said the eight-year veteran is still weighing his options, but the Rams are a possibility.

The Rams are looking for a backup behind Steven Jackson, who made his second Pro Bowl last season and is coming off back surgery.

The Washington Redskins also have pursued Westbrook, who visited with the team in May. His younger brother, Byron, is a cornerback for the Redskins.

A source said earlier this summer that Westbrook also had drawn interest from teams that didn't want their pursuit of the running back made public.

The Eagles opted not to retain their longtime starter as they transitioned to LeSean McCoy, who performed well as a rookie in 2009. Westbrook had spent his entire NFL career in Philadelphia, rushing for 5,995 yards and making two Pro Bowls while struggling with injuries.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.