By Jack Ryan
I’ve got some sobering news for Eagles fans about their fave, Connor Barwin:
He’s not coming back in 2017.
He’s too old, he has lost some of his skills and he costs too much.
Barwin has been a force for the Eagles defense in the past. During his second year in Philly, Barwin recorded a career high 14.5 sacks and was the team’s biggest and baddest pass rusher.
However, with the Eagles’ switch this past season to a 4-3 defense — something they are likely to keep intact going forward — Barwin’s production dropped. He recorded his lowest tackle total since his rookie season back in 2009. Having to play as a defensive end, Barwin was also a non-factor in the pass defense, something he did well during his days as an outside linebacker.
Despite wishing to return to Philly next season on a reduced deal, he will need to take a major pay cut to return to the Eagles. Right now, Barwin is a passing down defensive end. He doesn’t have the speed to play as a linebacker in a 4-3 defense, making his use solely as a pass rushing defensive end. Scheduled to make $17 million over the next two years, Barwin is worth nowhere near that.
Having a much smaller dead cap hit of just $600,000 next season, Barwin’s days in Philly are almost certainly at an end.
Unless Barwin would be willing to take less than half of his current contract for the next two years, he is a deadweight player for this team. Thanks to the Eagles limited cap space, this is a player the team cannot retain.