Should the Eagles look into trading DE Derek Barnett?

Coming off the major news that the Eagles have signed Washington legend Ryan Kerrigan, there’s a giant elephant in the room: what happens to Derek Barnett?

The Eagles opted to pick up his fifth year option in March, guaranteeing his $10.05 million salary in 2021, despite enormous cap issues. The team was able to wiggle themselves under the cap, currently at $4 million under, despite the option. The move was almost a no-brainer in March given the lack of depth outside of Barnett, Brandon Graham, and Josh Sweat. However, with the addition of Ryan Kerrigan, are the Eagles signaling a future move for DB? What are the options?

Keep him

Barnett is yet to play a full 16 game season in his career, making fans doubt his worth of the $10.05 million hit. In 48 games, 30 starts, Barnett has 19.5 sacks, 101 tackles, 65 QB hits, and three forced fumbles. Hardly top defensive end numbers.

However he’s coming off two strong seasons despite playing limited snaps, with 12 sacks coming in just 59% of snaps played. Those numbers suggest his trajectory is pointing straight up and the addition of Kerrigan can only help Barnett stay healthy and produce. Keeping him in the rotation and keeping him fresh could prove extremely beneficial for an aging defensive line.

Trade him

With Kerrigan now in the fold, the Eagles could sit back and wait to see if teams come calling for DE help if one of their own go down during camp. The team did add versatile defensive lineman Milton Williams, and EDGEs Tarron Jackson and Patrick Johnson in the draft, so they have options behind Barnett. There are a few teams that did not address their DE depth in the draft, suggesting they could be looking at trade options in the summer months.

Houston

The Texans haven’t made any headlines this offseason. None.

Wait.. they did release J.J. Watt.

The Texans’ defense is bad. They didn’t address it until the fifth round. Adding someone like Derek Barnett could help them both in short term and long term. While I’m sure the team is done trading away draft picks, they did add a few wide receivers during the draft that may lead them to making a certain very good wide receiver available.

Targets: Brandin Cooks – WR, Bradley Roby – CB

Atlanta

The Falcons bolstered their already top tier offense by adding Mr. Do-It-All Kyle Pitts. However, he doesn’t play defense.

The Falcons pass rush is almost non-existent, so targeting Barnett would be smart.

There aren’t any names to look for on the roster outside of Julio Jones for a potential deal, the Falcons could offer a pick or two.

Targets: mid-round picks

Jacksonville

The Jaguars had the second-least amount of sacks in 2020 with just 18. They did little to address that in the offseason, keeping them in the market for an upgrade on the line. Pairing Barnett with K’Lavon Chaisson could be deadly in the AFC south. The Jaguars did upgrade their corner depth, which leads me to believe they can part with one of their younger guys in a trade. (Yes, I know they just traded for a CB from Jacksonville)

Target: Tre Herndon – CB

Carolina

The Panthers’ defensive line finished with 29 sacks, a hurry rate of just 8.6%, and a pressure rate of just 22.9%, all bottom half in the league. While they’re hoping for a big year two jump for Yetur Gross-Matos, they could be looking to add a veteran across from stud Brian Burns. They team did draft two wide receivers to go along with their signing of David Moore. Maybe those rookies make Moore expendable.

Target: David Moore – WR

Minnesota

The Vikings made the splash of the 2020 offseason trading for defensive end Yannick Ngakoue. What did that do for them? Six games of five sacks and then a trade to Baltimore for less than what they sent to Jacksonville.

The Vikings did draft a couple of edge rushers, but they are still in dire need of another. They signed Stephen Weatherly, but he’s hardly serviceable. Barnett would give them a proven rusher opposite Danielle Hunter and give them someone who knows how to recover fumbles in their home stadium.

Outside of Adam Theilen and Harrison Smith, I don’t think there’s a player that could be moved by the Vikings that’s worthy of swapping for Barnett

Target: mid-round picks.

Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire

One thought on “Should the Eagles look into trading DE Derek Barnett?

  1. First off, the Eagles added a 32 yr. old player on a one year deal. To think he is now part of the team going forward, it will be on a year to year basis, so his future is always up in the air. Barnett is 24 years old. Last year, Kerrigan produced 5.5 sacks and 6 TFL. Barnet also produced 5.5 sacks and the same 6 TFL. Barnett is a classic DE in a 4-3 defense. Kerrigan has been playing OLB until 2020 when Washington switched from a 3-4 to a 4-3 D…….so having said that

    Trading him to Houston:
    Targets: Brandin Cooks – WR, Bradley Roby – CB

    I would take either of these guys for Barnett, and maybe a late round 2022 pick. Cooks has had a lot of injuries, mostly concussions…..and when I say a lot, I mean a lot. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 6+. Still, a really good receiver we could certainly use and Roby is better than any starter or player at CB we have and IMHO, is even better than Slay. So, yes to this trade for sure

    Trading him to Atlanta:
    Targets: mid-round picks

    It all depends on what mid-round picks we are talking about and in what draft year. A 3rd and 4th in 2022, then absolutely. Adding two more picks will allow us to use our 3 1st rounders and each succeeding pick to draft Barnett’s replacement. We could get by with Kerrigan for a year and then draft a real stud at DE next year

    Trading him to Jacksonville:
    Target: Tre Herndon – CB

    Jacksonville would need to throw in a decent pick or another player to make this work. Barnett straight up for Herndon is a bit one sided in Jacksonville’s favor

    Trading him to Carolina:
    Target: David Moore – WR

    Moore has around 1,254 yds. from scrimmage in 4 seasons. He only played one game in his rookie year, so let’s say 3 seasons. That averages out to 418 yds. Again, like with Jacksonville, there needs to be additional compensation on Carolina’s part.

    Trading him to Minnesota:
    Target: mid-round picks

    Again, it depends on what is meant by mid round picks. A 3rd and a 4th or even a 3rd and 5th might be worth it. But again, the Eagles need to replace him with a top pass rusher in the 2022 draft. No more bend around the edge guy. We need a mauler who can play inside and outside. Cox is going to be 31 at the end of this season. His play has fallen off a bit, but that could be because he is almost constantly double teamed. Having Hargrave next to him should help, but the only other DT’s the Eagles have is Raequan Willams and Hassan Ridgeway. Newly drafted Marlon Tuipulotu and Milton Williams, are unproven. Tuipulotu only had 8.5 sacks in 4years for USC, and Williams only 10.5 over 3 years. The Eagles need to start drafting beastly players on the DL similar to the OL. Washington has managed to assemble a stellar DL by consistently drafting great players, year after year, and that is what we need to do. Build out from the trenches. No one yet knows exactly what kind of D Gagnon will run, but the only sure-fire trade in this article is with Houston. The rest are either guys who aren’t worth a 1 for 1 swap or picks where you never know who you will wind up with.

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