Trade Candidate: Derek Barnett, DE, Philadelphia Eagles
One of the good things about a later trade deadline in the NFL is that it allows some teams to play against others and see their roster up close. For the Chiefs, the ability to play the Philadelphia Eagles in-season gave them an up-close look at their roster. Given the fact that the Eagles have a single win—and could continue to lose given their schedule—it’s very possible they turn into sellers at the deadline.
In fact, Adam Schefter predicted as much earlier this week when asked what he thought they would do if the Eagles were to continue to lose. He stated:
"If they were 1-6, and that would bring us up to the trade deadline, which I believe is Nov. 2 or Nov. 3, right around there – so three games before the deadline, right? [ed. note: there are 4 games before the deadline] At 1-6? I don’t know if firesale, but yeah, they’re sellers. At 1-6, they’re sellers."
The Eagles don’t have that many exciting players for a team like the Chiefs because the financial fit simply doesn’t make sense. Fletcher Cox is a future Hall of Fame, but he’s very expensive and the Chiefs are already spending big, big money along the defensive front. Brandon Graham is pricey and injured. Javon Hargrave would be a great addition in the middle, but he’s also expensive and the Chiefs are already waiting for one supposedly exciting interior import to live up to the billing in Jarran Reed.
But this brings us to Derek Barnett, who everyone in Philly believes is good as gone in 2022. In fact, everyone pretty much believes that picking up his fifth year option was a poor move on the part of the front office. This makes Barnett a still-young pass rusher who was formerly a first round pick who is good-as-gone on a non-contender.
Sounds like an intriguing matchup to me. Here’s the set-up for our potential interest in Barnett.
Barnett has never turned in the sort of sack numbers that casual fans expect from first-round picks, as if it’s the end-all, be-all of statistics and that the only value for an edge rusher is taking down the opposing quarterback or not. Barnett has never had more than 6.5 in a single season and he has zero this year.
However, in his first 48 games in the league over four seasons,, Barnett had 19.5 sacks and 65 quarterback hits. Those aren’t devastating stats by any means, but know that Barnett has been playing alongside Graham and Cox for his entire career as well, not to mention Josh Sweat. It’s also easy to overlook those QB hits, but just know that’s only 7 less than both Chris Jones and Frank Clark had in their first four seasons.
This season, every Eagles lineman is struggling to adjust thus far to Jonathan Gannon’s new scheme under head coach Nick Sirianni. Gannon was the Colts defensive backs coach for the last few years before joining Sirianni’s staff in Philly and the results haven’t been good up front. Ryan Kerrigan has admitted he’s struggling, as has Fletcher Cox. It just takes time for guys to adjust to being asked to do new things (e.g. Chris Jones lining up outside). Thus Barnett’s sack total from this year at least has some context.
Basically if the Eagles were up for eating the money on this deal, it might be worth throwing them a sixth or seventh round pick to secure the services of Barnett from now through the postseason to see if he can add the juice there needed for another run.