Derek Barnett

Eagles Exercise Derek Barnett’s Fifth-Year Option

Derek Barnett will be sticking around Philly through at least the 2021 season. The Eagles will pick up the fifth-year option on the defensive end, reports Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The 23-year-old will see a significant pay increase during his fifth season in the NFL. While he’ll earn $2.2MM in 2020, he’ll see that number jump to at least $9MM in 2021. Last year, a defensive end in Barnett’s draft range (14th overall) would have earned $9.45MM on their fifth-year option, per McLane.

The move isn’t a huge surprise, as the 2017 first-rounder has been productive when he’s seen the field. Barnett compiled five sacks in 15 games as a rookie, and he had the game-clinching fumble recovery during Super Bowl LII.

Core muscle surgery and a torn rotator cuff limited him to only six games during the 2018 season, but he returned and started a career-high 14 games in 2019. He finished this past year with 30 tackles, 6.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles.

At only 23 years old, the Eagles are hoping that Barnett establishes himself as a long-lasting starter opposite veteran Brandon Graham. The Eagles selected defensive end Casey Toohill in the seventh round of last week’s draft.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC East Notes: Williams, Cowboys, Giants

Trent Williams continues to hold out from Redskins camp, but the team is standing firm on the trade front. Despite acquiring Donald Penn, the Redskins have told teams they have no plans to trade Williams, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Teams continue to inquire about the 10th-year left tackle’s availability, but thus far, Washington has resisted. Williams, 31, is upset with the organization because of his contract and its handling of a health scare of his. Some around the league believe the Patriots will make a play for the seven-time Pro Bowler, but nothing is moving on this front yet. This may be an attempt for Washington to drive up the price, but for now, Williams remains a Redskins employee.

As for Washington’s left tackle situation, Penn and 2018 third-rounder Geron Christian are battling for the spot, Albert Breer of SI.com tweets. Ereck Flowers is back at guard but may be behind fourth-round rookie Wes Martin.

Here is the latest from the NFC East:

  • Deandre Baker will miss time for the Giants because of a knee sprain, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com notes (video link). However, the first-round pick’s ACL did not sustain damage, and the Giants appear to expect him back soon. Baker will likely be asked to start in his first season, with Big Blue’s cornerback corps rather thin.
  • The Cowboys gave fourth-round pick Tony Pollard just four carries in their preseason opener, but Jerry Jones may be using that to send a message to holdout Ezekiel Elliott. “He looks confident out there. We know he’s inordinately understanding what it is he does and what he can do,” Jones said, via ESPN.com’s Todd Archer. “We’ve seen him do it. We know he’s capable, if he really needs to, carry the whole load.” Pollard gained 16 yards against the 49ers. While Dak Prescott‘s negotiations have been talking points in the past two days, not much has emerged on the Elliott front. Jones said (via Jon Machota of The Athletic, on Twitter) nothing has changed regarding Dallas’ extension candidates.
  • Third-year Cowboys defensive end Taco Charlton addressed his current situation, which may not involve a full-time starting role. The 2017 first-round pick has just four career sacks and said he was not asked to rush quarterbacks as much as he did as a rookie. He mentioned discussing his NFL future with his agent recently (via Machota, subscription required). “We know my value and everything like that, so everything is good,” Charlton said. “I’m here right now working hard with this team. I will show up every day to work hard, healthy, hurt, whatever may be. Shoulder hurt, I still show up every day to work hard.” The Cowboys have DeMarcus Lawrence recovering from surgery, Robert Quinn out two games with a suspension and Randy Gregory once again banned. The defending NFC East champs will need Charlton, especially early.
  • On another NFC East defensive line, the Eagles saw their 2017 first-round pick return to 11-on-11 drills. Derek Barnett participated in team work for the first time in camp, Dave Zangaro of NBC Sports Philadelphia notes. Barnett spent the offseason recovering from a shoulder injury that sent him to IR in October. The Eagles traded Michael Bennett and lost Chris Long to retirement, pointing to a big role for Barnett.
  • The Giants lost another wide receiver for the season. Recent addition Amba Etta-Tawo tore one of his Achilles’ tendons, per NJ.com’s Matt Lombardo. In his second camp with the Giants, the Syracuse alum has yet to play in a regular-season game. Big Blue is down Sterling Shepard and Corey Coleman and will be without Golden Tate for the season’s first four games.

Eagles DE Derek Barnett Done For Year

Eagles defensive end Derek Barnett is done for the season thanks to a serious shoulder injury, a source tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The former first-round pick recorded 2.5 sacks and 17 tackles before his season came to a premature end. 

Barnett, 22, was the No. 14 overall pick in last year’s draft. He compiled five sacks, one forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries as a reserve, and had a couple of key moments in the team’s run to a ring last year.

This year, Barnett earned a promotion to the starting lineup and was on his way to a fine follow-up effort. He’ll be missed, but the Eagles have an embarrassment of riches from which to draw from at defensive end. The backup unit includes former Pro Bowler Michael Bennett, Chris Long, and fourth-round rookie Josh Sweat.

The defending champs will face the Jaguars in London on Sunday – sans Barnett – before entering their Week 9 bye.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Sweezy, Seahawks, Buccaneers, Eagles, Barnett

Guard J.R. Sweezy was only released earlier this afternoon, but speculation is already starting about where he could be heading next. Sweezy made it just two years into the five-year, $32.5MM deal he signed back in 2016 before he was cut by the Buccaneers. Both his years with Tampa Bay were injury plagued, but the interior lineman is still a good player when healthy.

As such, Sweezy should have some suitors despite still being injured as he continues to recover from a broken bone in his leg. A reunion with his former team, the Seahawks, is something that “would make a lot of sense” writes Mike Garafolo of NFL Network (Twitter link). Garafolo adds that he’d be “a natural fit” and that he thinks it’s something the Seahawks will “explore.” There’s definitely some familiarity there and the Seahawks could definitely use some interior line help. It will be an interesting situation to keep an eye on this late in the offseason.

Here’s more from the NFC:

  • In addition to potentially looking at Sweezy, the Seahawks “will aggressively go after pass rushers who become available as training camp begins”, according to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. After the trade of Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril‘s injury, the Seahawks are a bit thin at pass-rusher, so it makes sense why they’d look for some help from someone who might get cut in the coming months. Their one proven pass-rusher, Frank Clark, is looking for a new contract as well.
  • The cap space freed up from Sweezy’s release could be used to extend other Buccaneers veterans, according to Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link). Auman thinks the added cap room could “certainly facilitate a longterm extension” for one of Kwon Alexander, Ali Marpet, or Donovan Smith. He adds that it “would be good for Bucs to lock one of them up before the season.”
  • Defensive end Derek Barnett was listed as the Eagles player most likely to have a breakout season in 2018 by Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com. Shorr-Parks writes that Barnett is the only Eagles defensive end “guaranteed to be on the roster in 2019”, and that because of that the Eagles will seek to get the 2017 first-rounder as much playing time as possible.

Extra Points: Safeties, Eagles, Peterson

With Eric Reid, Tre Boston and Kenny Vaccaro unemployed after 2 1/2 months of free agency, safety market’s served as a persistent talking about this offseason. One former defensive coordinator attributed this oddity to teams having difficulty placing values on modern safeties due to myriad responsibilities. An agent for a top safety has a darker view of what’s transpiring.

(Teams) are basically avoiding everyone because they’re ignoring Reid,” the agent told CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora. “That’s exactly how I am looking at it, absolutely. Our (client) hasn’t done anything like that in his past and neither have most of these guys. But that’s exactly what we think is going on here. They just shut the safety market down entirely, and the guy who got paid, by and large, didn’t make much.

It’s the most asinine thing I’ve ever seen that you can tell us that this group of safeties aren’t worth signing, period, at this point. And saying maybe some other guys have turned down $2MM or $2.5MM, but we have a pretty damn good safety and we haven’t even seen money like that on the table. I know for our guy, we haven’t had a contract offer at all; not one on paper and only one verbal offer, and that offer was for the league minimum with a split and no guaranteed money. So that’s not even an offer; that’s an insult. For these guys to have no jobs right now you can’t tell me ‘that’s just the market.’ That’s BS.”

“The guy who got paid” is likely Morgan Burnett, the other member of what was viewed by some as the top quartet. The Steelers signed him for three years and $14.35MM — 27th in the league in terms of AAV. Reid currently has a collusion grievance against the NFL pending, but Boston and Vaccaro are both in their primes and have received scant interest. Our Rory Parks asked PFR readers which of these players will sign first, and Vaccaro is winning that vote. Both Reid and Vaccaro appeared on PFR’s original Top 50 Free Agents list.

Here’s the latest from around the league:

  • Adrian Peterson is also trying to fetch a contract, though age and injury concerns are likely to blame for his unattached status. Peterson mentioned the Texans and Saints again as possible fits while adding some other teams to the mix. Although, he hasn’t received much interest as of yet. “You know obviously I’ve mentioned Houston a couple of times,” Peterson said on a YouTube video (via Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk). “I feel like Green Bay wouldn’t be a bad look as well. Carolina. There’s some options out there. You know Miami. Down there in (Los Angeles). That would be a nice look, too, with Todd Gurley. You see around the league they have a two-back system. Guys are not really not pounding the ball 20, 30 times a game, so I think that leaves the door open for a couple of opportunities for me.”
  • The Eagles saw Jordan Hicks participate in individual drills during OTAs, per Jimmy Kempski of PhillyVoice.com. Hicks ruptured an Achilles’ tendon in Week 7 of last year but is believed to be ahead of schedule. After releasing Mychal Kendricks, the Eagles are counting on their middle linebacker to return.
  • Derek Barnett practiced fully for the Eagles, Kempski notes.. The second-year defensive end underwent sports hernia surgery shortly after the season ended, and it appears he’s recovered sufficiently.
  • An agent who represents some upper-echelon quarterbacks expects Aaron Rodgers to sign a deal that includes $110MM fully guaranteed within the contract’s first three years, and La Canfora writes that number may be low. Matt Ryan‘s $94.5MM in full guarantees represents the league’s current bar, and Rodgers, despite having two years left on his current Packers contract, should be able to demand a figure north of that.

Eagles DE Derek Barnett Underwent Surgery

Add Derek Barnett to the long list of Eagles players who will be recovering from surgery this offseason. Jimmy Kempski of PhillyVoice.com reports that the defensive end underwent sports hernia surgery following his team’s Super Bowl victory.

The reporter notes that the recovery period is only six weeks, and the surgery is intended to make the specific area of the body stronger. In other words, Barnett should already be close to full-health.

Following a productive rookie campaign, the 2017 first-rounder is expected to take on a bigger role with the Eagles in 2018. The Tennessee product finished last season with 21 tackles and five sacks in 15 games. He also scooped up a key Tom Brady fumble during the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl. The 21-year-old may start the season behind Brandon Graham and Michael Bennett on the depth chart, but he’ll serve alongside Chris Long as one of the top rotational defensive ends.

Kempski notes that the Eagles are likely to bring Barnett along slowly this offseason. A number of his teammates will be following a similar path, including quarterback Carson Wentz, offensive tackle Jason Peters, wideout Alshon Jeffery, linebacker Jordan Hicks, defensive end Timmy Jernigan, running back Darren Sproles, and safety Chris Maragos.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Barnett, Ansah, Giants, Panthers

The Eagles have had many stars in their journey towards the top of the NFL this season, and one of those players has been rookie defensive end Derek Barnett. The team’s first round pick this past May has given Philadelphia another dominant pass rusher outside of Brandon Graham and has made the front office look even better, opines Geoff Mosher of the FanRags Sports Network.

Mosher points out that Barnett was viewed as the “safe” pick when the Eagles were selecting in the middle of the first round. He states that flashier draftees that the Eagles passed on, like running back Dalvin Cook, defensive end Jonathan Allen and linebacker Reuben Foster, have all had injury problems, making the choice to select Tennessee’s all-time sack leader even more brilliant.

At the moment, Barnett is simply a pass rushing specialist coming off the bench, but has already racked up 4.5 games even without getting the majority of the snaps. He trails team leader Brandon Graham by just 1.5 sacks with six weeks left to play. Barnett may not have been the sexy choice at the time, but he’s making the Eagles decision makers look even smarter because of what he’s adding to an already outstanding roster.

  • Lions star defensive end Ezekiel Ansah returned to game action for the team’s Thanksgiving tilt against the Vikings. Ansah is active for the first time since Week 9 when he injured his back on Monday night football. The 28-year-old has responded well from a down 2016 campaign with four sacks in just eight games this season. The news of his return is certainly a welcomed addition to a defense that ranks 20th in sacks in the NFL.
  • In regards to the late Thanksgiving game between the Redskins and Giants, the expectation that New York will have offensive lineman Jon Halapio make his first professional start at right guard, according to Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com. The 26-year-old would be replacing D.J. Fluker, who has already been ruled out for Week 12 with a toe injury. The move represents another shift in the offensive line for the Giants, who had rookie Chad Wheeler make his first NFL start during the team’s victory over the Chiefs in Week 11.
  • In more positive injury news, Panthers star tight end Greg Olsen is continuing to make progress recovering from a broken foot he suffered back in September, reports Jourdan Rodrigue of The Charlotte Observer (Twitter link). Rodrigue further notes that Olsen looks to be on track to return Sunday, which would be huge addition for an offense that already traded away Kelvin Benjamin and lost wide receiver Curtis Samuel for the season.

Eagles Sign Derek Barnett

The Eagles have signed their first-round pick, defensive end Derek Barnett, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). As the 14th selection, Barnett’s four-year contract is worth upward of $12.85MM, including a $7.49MM signing bonus.

Derek Barnett (Vertical)

Barnett starred in all three of his years at Tennessee, where he notched 52 tackles for loss and 32 sacks. Last season was his best, though, as Barnett made 19 tackles behind the line of scrimmage and took down opposing quarterbacks 13 times en route to first-team all-SEC honors. Lance Zierlein of NFL.com likens the 6-foot-3, 259-pound Barnett to Packers pass rusher Nick Perry, who posted 11 sacks in 2016.

With Barnett under contract, the Eagles have locked up all eight of their draft picks. Here’s a refresher on their other selections:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Fins Eyeing Derek Barnett, Charles Harris

The Dolphins have defensive ends Derek Barnett and Charles Harris high on their draft boards, league sources tell Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, and would consider selecting either with the No. 22 pick.Derek Barnett (Vertical)

Miami does have other needs, and could consider other positions in the first round. In PFR’s live mock draft, for instance, I sent Western Kentucky guard Forrest Lamp to South Beach. Indeed, if Barnett and Harris are both off the board by the time the Dolphins’ turn comes around, the club may be open to targeting higher-rated players at positions other than defensive end, per Salguero. Edge rushers such as Michigan’s Taco Charlton and UCLA’s Takkarist McKinley don’t figure to interest Miami as much as Barnett or Harris, and the Dolphins may go another direction if those are the best defensive ends available.

The Dolphins “love” Barnett, as Salguero reported last month, and there’s a chance the Tennessee product could still be on the board at pick No. 22. Barnett posted 33 sacks over the past three seasons, and was a highly productive player at the collegiate level. Doubters, however, point to Barnett’s poor measurables which could indicate a lack of explosion. Harris, meanwhile, is shooting up draft boards after putting up 16 sacks for Missouri from 2015-16. Lance Zierlein of NFL.com compares the 6’3″, 253-pounder to NFL edge rusher Connor Barwin.

While Miami re-signed Andre Branch and extended Cameron Wake this offseason, the club still desperately needs depth at defensive end. Wake is now 35 years old, and the only other pass rushers on the roster aside from Branch are 32-year-old William Hayes and Terrence Fede, the latter of whom hasn’t made an impact in three NFL seasons.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

McShay’s Latest: Mahomes, Foster, Cook

Three quarterbacks are expected to be selected in the first round: Mitch Trubisky (North Carolina), Deshaun Watson (Clemson), and Patrick Mahomes (Texas Tech), according to Todd McShay of ESPN.com (Insider subscription required). Cal’s Davis Webb is also reportedly a contender for a first-round slot, says McShay, though he could fall to the middle of Round 2. Watson, interestingly, has been more lauded by NFL clubs that aren’t in the market for a quarterback, per McShay, as those teams have praised Watson’s leadership ability and other intangibles. Trubisky and Mahomes, meanwhile, are seemingly more attractive to clubs that do need a signal-caller.

Let’s take a look at a few more highlight’s from McShay’s column, which is certainly worth a full read:

  • Mahomes, specifically, has been consistently linked to the Chiefs and Cardinals, says McShay. Both clubs are on the hunt for long-term options under center, as Alex Smith has shown a limited ceiling while Carson Palmer is entering the final stages of his career. The Texans have also been mentioned as a destination for Mahomes, as Houston head coach Bill O’Brien reportedly “loves” the Red Raider quarterback. If Kansas City is hoping to land Mahomes, it may have to trade up, as McShay doesn’t believe Mahomes will be available when the Chiefs pick at No. 27.
  • Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster and Florida State linebacker Dalvin Cook are both dealing with off-field concerns, but Cook could end up falling further down the board than Foster, reports McShay. At least one source tells McShay the Colts at pick No. 15 could be the eventual landing spot for Foster. Indianapolis is attempting a complete remake of its defense, so the club may be willing to overlook Foster’s issues in order to secure a top-notch ‘backer. If the Colts pass, the Redskins (pick No. 17) could also be interested in Foster, per McShay. Meanwhile, Cook will be “strongly considered” by the Buccaneers at No. 19.
  • The Saints could consider Tennessee defensive end Derek Barnett, Temple linebacker Haason Reddick, or Ohio State safety Malik Hooker with the 11th overall pick, according to McShay. New Orleans has fielded one of the league’s worst defensive units for several years, so any sort of upgrade on that side of the ball shouldn’t be ruled out. Hooker isn’t expected to come off the board in the top five picks, but should be drafted between No. 6 and No. 13, per McShay. Reddick, meanwhile, is expected to be a top-15 selection and could even sneak into the top 10.
  • Houston pass rusher Tyus Bowser is expected to be a late first-round pick, sources tell McShay. Bowser, who managed 8.5 sacks last season, could conceivably appeal to a number of teams picking in the 20s or 30s. Speculatively, the Lions, Dolphins, Cowboys, Packers, Steelers, Falcons, and Saints could all use an edge defender late on Day 1.