Eagles DE Derek Barnett Named ‘Potential’ Trade Piece for NFC Contender

Derek Barnett

Getty Defensive end Derek Barnett of the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Philadelphia Eagles could look into trading a longtime starter turned rotational player.

As suggested by Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox, Eagles defensive end Derek Barnett is considered one of the top 10 names on his “trade block big board.” Knox argues Barnett’s lack of playing time through the first few weeks of the season combined with the fact that he’s due to hit free agency in 2024 as reasons for why Philadelphia should consider moving on from their former first-round draft pick.

“The Eagles should value the depth that Barnett can provide, but if he isn’t in the team’s long-term plans, moving him would make a bit of sense,” wrote Knox on September 20. “Doing so would save $3.5 million in 2023 cap space, and Barnett is set to be a free agent in 2024 anyway.”

Knox Suggests Detroit Lions as Potential Landing Spot

Knox actually mentions two NFC teams — the Detroit Lions and Arizona Cardinals — as potential landing spots for the veteran defensive end.

“The Lions might also be wise to take a look at Barnett, as standout pass-rusher James Houston is set to miss “at least” 6-8 weeks with a fractured ankle, according to Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of NFL Media,” writes Knox. “Detroit fell to 1-1 on Sunday but is still hoping to make a run at an NFC North title. Barnett could at least help the Lions fill Houston’s role in the pass-rushing rotation.”

The 27-year-old Barnett had actually previously gauged the market for a trade back in August, as ESPN’s Tim McManus reported. However, nothing has transpired since then and Barnett remains a rotational player on the defensive line.

“Eagles defensive end Derek Barnett, through agent Drew Rosenhaus, is gauging the market for the potential to play more elsewhere, sources told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler on Monday,” wrote McManus on August 28. “The Eagles plan to keep Barnett but understand their deep pass-rush roster could limit playing time.”

Eagles Barely Playing Derek Barnett Through Early Part of 2023 Season

Through the first three games of the season, Barnett’s impact has been minimal. He’s posted just two tackles and one tackle for loss while appearing in just 41 defensive snaps (22%) while playing in all three games.

As mentioned earlier, Barnett is in the final year of a contract which he restructured prior to the start of the season in July. After he was scheduled to earn $7.5 million in base salary, he’s now due to earn $3.5 million in guaranteed salary with $250,000 in per-game bonuses and up to $2.25 million incentives with a maximum value of $6 million, according to Field Yates of ESPN.

The Eagles clearly value Barnett’s depth despite having arguably the best starting defensive line in the NFL. It’s worth noting Philadelphia notched 70 sacks without Barnett last season — he was out for 16 regular season games due to injury — the third-most in a single season in NFL history.

Although Barnett has never lived up to his first-round billing, he has valuable experience, having starting 45 of 68 career games. With that being said, if Philadelphia can acquire a decent draft pick — think potentially a fourth or fifth-round pick — in exchange for a defensive end with a limited ceiling who barely plays, the Eagles should probably make that move.

With that being said, Philadelphia should probably make that move with a team that they won’t potentially match up with in the playoffs.

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