Howie Roseman said at the Combine he would be “surprised” if the Eagles did not devote offseason assets to addressing their defensive end position, but a previous report indicated Barnett was likely on the way out. While Barnett’s contract will certainly check in below Reddick’s on the payroll, the former first-round pick’s return will bolster a Philadelphia edge corps that played shorthanded last season.
Graham is coming off an Achilles tear and will turn 34 next week. Barnett will be 26 when the Eagles begin the 2022 season. He joins Sweat as a homegrown D-end given a second contract. The Eagles signed Sweat to a three-year, $40MM extension and gave Reddick a three-year, $45MM pact. Graham is attached to a $9.25MM-per-year deal. Barnett’s contract gives the Eagles four veteran deals at defensive end, making for a rather unusual setup.
While Barnett has not delivered on the promise he came with as the 2017 No. 14 overall pick, the Tennessee alum represents a complementary piece. Barnett has 21.5 career sacks, with 12 of those coming between the 2019 and 2020 seasons. Barnett posted 22 QB hits during the 2019 campaign. However, he slumped during his contract year, which ended with just two sacks. The 6-foot-3 edge plays the run effectively and does have the biggest fumble recovery in Eagles history on his resume, having pounced on Graham’s sack-strip of Tom Brady late in the Eagles’ Super Bowl LII win.