In a day of wild free agency action, the Eagles are making moves with familiar faces. After officially releasing Connor Barwin this morning, it would appear they’ll be bringing back offensive lineman Allen Barbre, according to the Inquirer’s Jeff McLane.
#Eagles expected to retain Allen Barbre, per NFL sources. Allowed him to shop around for trade, but will bring back versatile OL at $2.25M.— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) March 9, 2017
ESPN’s Adam Caplan has since confirmed the report, not that McLane needs confirming.
Barbre’s status has been up in the air over the past 48 hours, and the past few weeks and months. He’s turning 33 years old before the 2017 season, but he had a good year in 2016 and is a versatile OL who can play multiple positions. And being able to retain a versatile, solid lineman who knows your system and young quarterback is clearly a plus.
It also bears mentioning that the team is still looking for potential trade partners for Jason Kelce. If Kelce were to be traded away today or tomorrow, the Eagles would likely want to place second-year lineman Isaac Seumalo in there at center. Having solid pieces return at left (Barbre) and right guard (Brandon Brooks) would probably make Seumalo’s introduction to center a bit easier, if the Kelce move were to happen.
And, of course, it’s important to note Barbre dealt with a hamstring injury for a chunk of last season. At 33, you wonder if he can remain healthy for an entire season. He’s only played 16 games once in his nine-year career.
Releasing Barbre could’ve saved the Eagles $1.8 million against the cap, but overall, retaining a good starting player at a good price outweighs the potential savings.
As always, stay tuned for more free agency news as it rolls in today.