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January 13, 2017

Even a pay cut shouldn't prompt the Eagles to keep Connor Barwin

Since he signed here back in 2013, Eagles defensive end Connor Barwin has come to love the city of Philadelphia and is a valuable member of the community for his charitable works. He wants to stay here.

Appearing on Breakfast on Broad (transcribed by Dave Zangaro of CSN), Barwin volunteered on television that he is willing to take a pay cut to do so.

"Yes, I would take a pay cut," he said. "I mean, my plan is to stay here. You know, people talk about my contract and I think, I like to think, I'm a reasonable person and I feel like I'll work with the Eagles and we'll restructure and make some kind of deal that works for everybody."

In 2017, Barwin will count for $8,350,000 against the cap, $7,750,000 of which the Eagles can save if they cut or trade him. That is a figure that the Eagles simply cannot keep on their books for the production Barwin has provided, and he is not oblivious to that fact.

Throughout the Chip Kelly era, Barwin was one of the most valuable members in Billy Davis' 3-4 defense because of his versatility. Barwin can cover, rush the passer, and play the run, but was not a dominant player when doing any of those things.

In his first three seasons with the team, Barwin posted very good numbers overall. However, in Jim Schwartz's scheme, Barwin was asked to beat left tackles mano-e-mano, which is not his strength. Here are Barwin's numbers in his four years with the Eagles:

 Connor BarwinTackles Sacks FF Pass breakups / batted passes 
 201359 10 
 201464 14.5 
 201634 2 

Playing in a defensive scheme that has historically been very stat-friendly for defensive ends, Barwin posted the worst numbers of his Eagles career, across the board.

Schwartz needs his front four to be able to generate pressure on their own, without the benefit of blitzing, and Barwin was simply invisible far too often during long stretches of games. Opposing offenses with quality left tackles could simply take care of Barwin one-on-one, and give help as needed to the rest of the Eagles' defensive front. 

Money savings aside, right defensive end is a position that the Eagles need to upgrade this offseason. It is difficult to state that the Eagles need to move on from a player who wants to be here and does good work in the community, but the reality is that Barwin does not fit the scheme, no matter how much he costs.

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