Connor Barwin was one of the most beloved Eagles during his short time in Philadelphia. On Wednesday, he posted an Instagram story with a view from the press box at Lincoln Financial Field. The screenshot promoted immediate speculation that Barwin might be at the stadium for a tryout.
The 32-year-old defensive end would be a fitting replacement for Chris Long. The role was practically made for him. But does Barwin have anything left in the tank? He appears to be in top physical shape after playing in 15 games last season for the New York Giants. He participated in 289 snaps, roughly 26% of the defensive snaps.
Eagles fans, one day removed from crying foul over the team’s open practice schedule, took to Twitter to ponder the possibility of a Barwin reunion.
In four seasons with the Eagles, Barwin recorded 214 total tackles and 31.5 sacks in 64 starts. He was a leader in the locker room and steadying presence on the field where he recorded a career-high 14.5 sacks en route to the Pro Bowl in 2014.
Barwin never wanted to leave Philadelphia, but the organization didn’t have a fit for the hybrid linebacker-defensive end after new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz switched from a 3-4 defense to a 4-3. After the Eagles released him, the Giants scooped him up and were quick to throw praise his way.
“Veteran player, edge player, so he could play the outside linebacker position, he could be involved in the pass rush when we get to our four-man rush,” said Giants coach Pat Shurmur. “Very veteran guy and I think if you don’t know him, you’ll quickly get to see that he’s a true pro and we were fortunate he was available, and we felt like it was a smart move to add him to our roster.”
Watching the Eagles’ Super Bowl was bittersweet for Barwin, even though he was proud of them for winning, especially his best friend Jason Kelce. He envisioned himself being a part of that championship, and it was hard for him to watch the game. The day before the Super Bowl, he posted a picture of himself tackling Tom Brady.
“Football is crazy in that way. We all prepare. We all try to be the strongest, best team we can be, but a little bit, every once in a while, it’s just a matter of where the ball chooses to bounce,” Barwin told GQ.
Is Barwin making a comeback with the Eagles? Only time will tell. The deep connection with Philadelphia has always been there. Barwin still lives in the city’s hip Fishtown neighborhood and gives back to the community through his charity organization, Make The World Better Foundation.