The Philadelphia Eagles have one of the deepest pass rush groups in the NFL. Even after losing star defensive tackle Javon Hargrave in free agency, it’s going to be a major strength for the defending NFC Champions in 2023.
It also might not include former first-round pick Derek Barnett. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Philadelphia has given the EDGE guy permission to seek a trade ahead of Week 1. Fowler notes that the Eagles prefer for Barnett to be on the roster. But they also know it’s a numbers game with the aforementioned depth.
Barnett, 27, was the 14th overall pick of the Eagles in the 2017 NFL Draft. He has never really panned out in his time with Philadelphia.
- Derek Barnett stats: 76 QB hits, 36 tackles for loss, 21.5 sacks
Barnett’s best season came back in 2019 when he recorded 22 QB hits, 10 tackles for loss and a career-high 6.5 sacks. He’s been on the downtick since with 5.5 sacks in 2020 and just two in 2021. This past season saw the Tennessee product play in just one game after tearing his ACL in the season opener.
Derek Barnett trade market and Philadelphia Eagles depth
Barnett is playing under a three-year, $15.2 million contract. Any acquiring team would be on the hook for a mere $3.5 million cap hit in 2023, the final year of Barnett’s contract. Despite a lack of production and the serious injury he suffered a season ago, Barnett will likely have a market.
As for Philadelphia, it makes sense to move on from the former first-round pick. The team racked up a league-high 70 sacks a season ago with fellow edge guy Haason Reddick (16) leading things. Also doing their thing out on the edge, Josh Sweat (11) and Brandon Graham (11) recorded double-digit sacks, too.
Philadelphia also exhausted a first-round pick on former Georgia star Nolan Smith in the 2023 NFL Draft. He showed out in limited preseason action.