WEDNESDAY, 8:30am: According to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (via Twitter), Barner will need to be on the Eagles’ active 46-man roster in at least four games this year in order for the Panthers to receive the seventh-round pick in the deal.
TUESDAY, 8:53pm: The Eagles have acquired running back Kenjon Barner from the Panthers in exchange for a conditional 2015 seventh-round draft choice, the Eagles announced in a press release. Barner played under Philadelphia head coach Chip Kelly while at Oregon, who praised Barner in a statement:
“Kenjon will hopefully bring some depth to both our running back and return positions,” said Kelly. “He’s obviously a guy I know really well from Oregon, where he had a very productive career. He has a lot of speed, explosiveness and had a knack for making some really big plays. But our plan with him right now is get him in Philadelphia as soon as we can and plug him in at running back and returner and let him compete.”
Barner, 25, was a sixth-round choice by Carolina in last year’s draft. He didn’t play much, registering just 24 offensive snaps and 28 on special teams (per Football Outsiders). However, as Kelly notes, speed is the name of Barner’s game, as he ran multiple sub-4.4 40-yard-dashes leading up to the draft. Barner will probably feel comfortable after being reunited with his college coach, but as ESPN’s Adam Caplan notes (via Twitter), Kelly’s NFL playbook has a few tweaks, a lesson fellow ex-Duck Josh Huff learned early on in training camp.
With the Eagles, Barner will fight for a backup running back position behind LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles. Chris Polk, currently third on the depth chart, is battling an injury, and as Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times tweets, the acquisition of Barner probably doesn’t bode well for Polk as he tries to make Philadelphia’s 53-man roster. However, Jeff McLlane of the Philadelphia Inquirer adds (Twitter link) that the Eagles likely added Barner to cover for the potential special teams loss of Huff (who is also injured), rather than to push Polk.