Bears Trade Idea Swaps Trevis Gipson for Disgruntled Former 1st Round Pass Rusher

Trevis Gipson

Getty Trevis Gipson of the Chicago Bears is seeking a trade.

An interesting new trade idea has emerged for the Chicago Bears: Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Derek Barnett in exchange for Trevis Gipson.

Both pass rushers are young and reported to be looking for a change of scenery. First, on August 26 during Chicago’s third and final preseason game, ESPN insider Jeremy Fowler reported that Gipson wanted to be traded.

A few days later, on August 28, Fowler reported that Barnett’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, was “gauging the market,” seeking opportunities for Barnett to play more.

With both pass rushers wanting out of their current situations, could a swap be the answer?

Multiple Analysts Want Bears to Give Eagles a Call About Barnett

Brad Spielberger of Pro Football Focus wrote on the social media platform X (formerly Twitter) that the Bears “should at least explore” a trade for Barnett, and he’s not alone in this thinking.

Luis Medina of Bleacher Nation Bears agrees. “There is nothing wrong with inquiring about the price of doing business. In fact, I’d encourage it,” Medina wrote in reference to the Bears and Barnett, before throwing the following idea out there:

“Trading Trevis Gipson and a 6th-round pick for Derek Barnett is the kind of deal that could satisfy the needs of both teams. And it would help out a pair of players who appear to be looking elsewhere for their next gig. Remember, there was chatter this weekend about Trevis Gipson’s trade request. As much as I’d like to come out as the clear winner of a given trade, my favorite deals are the ones where both teams get what they’re seeking. A possible Bears-Eagles trade could be that kind of deal.”

Barnett Is Coming Off a Major Injury in 2022

Barnett, who just turned 27 in June, was the 14th overall pick for the Eagles in the 2017 NFL draft. At the University of Tennessee, he surpassed former Eagles legend Reggie White as the school’s all-time sack leader, amassing 33 sacks in 39 games. His NFL production has been decent, but Barnett hasn’t come anywhere near to achieving that level of success in the pros.

The 6-foot-3, 259-pound defensive end played in just one game in 2022 before suffering a torn ACL, which forced him to miss the remainder of the season. He is healthy and has been back practicing fully with the team in training camp, but due to Philly’s plentiful depth at DE, Barnett believes he would get more opportunities elsewhere. He’s probably not wrong.

Prior to the 2022 season, Barnett played in 64 games for the Eagles (45 starts) over five years, accumulating 147 tackles (36 for loss) 21.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and a defensive score. He has had three seasons with 5.0 or more sacks, and could make a solid addition to Chicago’s current group of pass rushers, which includes free agent additions Yannick Ngakoue and DeMarcus Walker.

There’s Also the Ian Cunningham Connection

Current Bears assistant general manager Ian Cunningham served as director of college scouting for the Eagles in 2017 when Barnett was drafted, so there’s a connection there if Bears GM Ryan Poles wants to explore the idea of adding him.

Would the Eagles want Gipson over Barnett? That’s the key question. The Bears might need to include a late round pick in addition to Gipson, 26, who was a fifth-round pick out of Tulsa for Chicago in 2020. He has played in 40 games for the Bears (19 starts) and has 75 tackles (11 for loss), 10.0 sacks, five forced fumbles and a fumble recovery over three seasons.

Adding Barnett wouldn’t be a huge get for the Bears, but sometimes, a fresh start can do a player good. And considering Gipson already wants out, a trade swap is at least worth looking into for Poles.

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