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What Should The Eagles Do With Connor Barwin?

Connor Barwin | Extension, Cut or Trade


Should The Eagles Extend, Cut or Trade Connor Barwin?

PHILADELPHIA – The National Football League becomes a very cutthroat business every spring as teams fight to acquire team needs and manage their salary cap. As the Eagles look at their roster one of the players that will need to be addressed is Defensive End Connor Barwin. I personally think the Eagles should make an aggressive effort to trade Connor Barwin. Trade him for anything they are able to get.

First of all, let’s breakdown the contract in place with the Eagles.

Eagles Should Try To Trade Conor Barwin

Barwin’s contract, broken down above by, shows the Eagles will be entering the first year of zero guaranteed money, outside of his standard prorated pay of $600,000 (dead money). Meaning if the Eagles were to cut or trade Connor, they would only owe him that $600k, saving $7,750,000 for the 2017 season. This would also eliminate $10,250,000, with zero in dead money for the 2018 season.  So out of the three options: Restructuring, Cutting or Trading, which is the best move for the Eagles heading into 2017?


It is very clear that Barwin is great teammate and an extremely active philanthropist in the city of Philadelphia. Over the years he has done amazing work for local communities with his “Make The World Better Foundation” building playgrounds for local youth and help with various local initiatives. Connor also has deep connections to some of the teams longer tenured players. At the University of Cincinnati, Barwin was the roommate of 2011, 6th round draft pick, Jason Kelce. He also, at the time, backed up another Eagle, Brent Celek as a TE before transitioning to the Defensive End position. These deep rooted connections may have teammates lobbying for him to remain on team as the Eagles Brass nears their decision.

But, when we are talking about money owed and overall production, I am not sure there is enough to make a case for Barwin to remain an Eagle.

Barwin ends 2016 with another year of diminishing stats. Tallying his lowest season production in almost every category since joining the Eagles. Maybe because it is his first year under a new defensive scheme and Defensive Coordinator, Jim Schwartz, or maybe because he is simply just not a good fit. Connor Barwin finished 2016 with the 2nd worst pass rush productivity amongst 4-3 Defensive Ends, per ProFootballFocus.

There are a lot of factors that could attribute to this reoccurring decline in Barwin’s stats. In Chip Kelly‘s final season as Eagles Head Coach, he had lost the locker room, hell, he lost everyone at Nova Care. When a team is in this much disarray, it could cause a dip in stats for any player on any team. This could have had a sizeable effect on Barwin’s play. So some people could argue that 2015 was a fluke year, and that would be OK if it didn’t continue in a downward trend in the following season.

With 2016, it could have something to do with the fact that Jim Schwartz is big on sub-packages and line rotations, so much that it caused Barwin’s 2016 snap count (713) to drop below 1000+ for the first time since signing with The Eagles in 2013.

Sure, there are always two sides to every story, but you have take into account the defense ran in Philadelphia currently is at it’s simplest form. You rush the passer and set the edge. That is your job only the defensive line. Barwin recorded a mere 4 tackles for a loss and 5 sacks on the season. I can not imagine the Eagles will look at any of his 2016 numbers and see a reason to extend his contract. If they did, Barwin would need to take a serious pay cut, which is unlikely because there are other teams that would pay him good money still.

Make A Trade

The way the Eagles have it setup, there is no pressure on them to make a hastily decision. They will only owe Barwin the $600,000 regardless if they choose to cut him before or after June 1st or to trade him.

With that being said, the Eagles should try to trade Connor Barwin. Absolutely. Are you going to get anything special for Barwin? No. If you are asking why, just go back and read the section before this one.

I honestly do not believe the 2017, 53 man roster will include the Detroit native. If that is case, why would the Eagles just let him walk away for nothing? There are teams in the NFL that have a desperate need for any talent on the edge of their defensive line. While he may not be elite based on his stat, he could be an upgrade for another team looking to address that hole during the free agency period, to focus elsewhere in the upcoming NFL Draft.

Heading to a new city with more fitting scheme, Barwin could with out a doubt see a big resurgence in his performance. Philadelphia just does not look to the be city to give him  a real shot at that opportunity.

Flat. Out. Cut.

The decision to cut Barwin may honestly be something the Eagles consider. On February 3rd of 2016, the Eagles inked a 5 year contract extension with defensive end Vinny Curry that will keep him on the team through 2020.

When discussing the terms of Curry’s contract last year, the Eagles set it up to really kick in during 2017. This allowed the Eagles to keep Barwin on the roster in 2016 and keep Curry’s costs to a minimum until this season. (See full contract extension below)

Vinny Curry's Contract Extension

In comparison to Barwin, Curry had extremely similar number as far production per snap played. The Eagles would be able to part ways with Barwin, while already having a replacement player on the roster, that is arguably equal to his in production and a couple years younger.


What ever the Eagles decide to do, whether it be to Extend, Cut or Trade Connor Barwin, it looks like they have put themselves in very good position to make the best move possible for the future of the franchise. I personally do not think Barwin is on the team to start the 2017 season, but last years off season proves the Howie Roseman is willing to make aggressive moves to keep the team on what he thinks is the best track for ultimate success.

All of these options remain wide open as long as Roseman is calling the shots.