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November 24, 2023

Report: Eagles to waive Derek Barnett

Derek Barnett, who has underwhelmed since his rookie season in 2017, will no longer be in the Eagles' picture.

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1975_09142023_Eagles_Vikings_Derek-Barnett.jpg Kate Frese/For PhillyVoice

The Eagles are moving on from edge rusher Derek Barnett.

The Philadelphia Eagles intend on releasing edge rusher Derek Barnett, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

In 2023, Barnett had 0 sacks, 0 QB hits, and 0 pressures (per PFF) in 55 pass rush snaps. There were also times in which he was close to drawing personal foul penalties, but was lucky to avoid them. Barnett was a healthy scratch Week 9 against the Cowboys, and was ruled out for the Eagles' Week 11 matchup against the Chiefs for personal reasons.

Barnett was a first-round pick of the Eagles in 2017, and he contributed as a rookie. His strip sack of Case Keenum in the NFC Championship Game and his recovery of Tom Brady's fumble in the Super Bowl helped earn the Eagles a Lombardi Trophy. His best seasons came under Jim Schwartz from 2017-2020, though during that span he had just 19.5 sacks, a number that fell short of reasonable expectations of a player drafted 14th overall.

Some of Barnett's early lack of production was attributed to injuries, as he missed 10 games in 2018, two games in 2019, and three games in 2020. He also probably wasn't 100 percent in many of the games he played those seasons. 

In 2021, his first truly healthy season in years and under a new coaching staff, Barnett had eight penalties and 2.5 sacks. After one such penalty, Nick Sirianni was caught on camera mouthing "It's always him."

During the 2022 offseason, the Eagles re-signed Barnett to what was effectively a two-year deal worth $14 million, because they liked his toughness. In an offseason of mostly smart moves, that was a baffling one. In the Eagles' Week 1 game in Detroit, Barnett tore an ACL and his season was over.

Barnett's eventual release will leave the Eagles with an open roster spot. S Justin Evans and WR Quez Watkins are scheduled to come off of injured reserve this week, so they are candidates to fill that spot. The Eagles are also reportedly interested in former Colts LB Shaq Leonard, so that situation is also worth monitoring.

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