As NFL cut day looms, former Eagles first-round pick Derek Barnett is reportedly gauging the trade market in an attempt to get more playing time in 2023.
Here’s the latest report from ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler:
Basically, it seems like Barnett is available … for the right price. If not, the Eagles can keep him on their roster as the fifth edge rusher in a deep rotation.
Barnett, 27, participated in practice on Monday morning at the NovaCare Complex but it is possible it could have been his final practice as an Eagle.
Earlier this offseason, the Eagles and Barnett restructured his contract, making it seem more likely Barnett was going to stick around in 2023. But he’s still buried on the depth chart.
Going into 2023, the Eagles have Haason Reddick, Josh Sweat, Brandon Graham and rookie Nolan Smith as their top four edge rushers. Barnett appears to be the fifth guy in that rotation. It’s worth pointing out that Reddick has been dealing with a thumb injury and surgery, although he expects to be ready for Week 1. And Smith has missed five straight practices with a shoulder injury.
Barnett agreed to stay with the Eagles last offseason on a two-year deal. According to OverTheCap, after the restructure this offseason, a Barnett trade would save the Eagles $1.125 million in cap space in 2023, leaving just over $1.17 million in dead money this year.
If the Eagles are able to trade Barnett, that could be good news for another depth edge rusher like Patrick Johnson, Janarius Robinson, Kyron Johnson or Tarron Jackson, who have all been competing for roster spots.
How much would the Eagles get back in a trade for Barnett? It’s probably unrealistic to expect a huge haul. Perhaps a conditional Day 3 pick?
The Eagles drafted Barnett out of Tennessee with the No. 14 overall pick back in 2017. While he never lived up to his draft status, Barnett turned into a decent edge rusher in their rotation.
In his six seasons with the Eagles, Barnett has played in 65 games with 45 starts but never had more than 6 1/2 sacks in a season. He has 21 1/2 sacks in his NFL career.
Barnett’s best year came in 2019, when he started 14 games, had 6 1/2 sacks, 22 QB hits and 10 tackles for loss.
Last season, Barnett tore his ACL in the season opener in Detroit and missed most of the year. But he returned to practice this summer and appeared healthy. Barnett didn’t have a great training camp but he was out there getting snaps on the edge and even occasionally inside. He also showed off his penchant for getting into scuffles.
In 2021, Barnett played in 16 games and started 15. He was expected to be the fourth guy in the rotation in 2022 before the injury. This year, the Eagles drafted Smith, which theoretically bumped Barnett even further down the depth chart.