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Derek Barnett waived by the Eagles [UPDATE]

Say goodbye to Philadelphia’s 2017 first-round pick.

Philadelphia Eagles Training Camp Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

UPDATE: The Eagles officially waived Derek Barnett ... and issued a team statement, which is not common for a dismissal:

“THE EAGLES ORGANIZATION WOULD LIKE TO THANK DEREK FOR HIS CONTRIBUTIONS TO THIS TEAM OVER THE LAST SEVEN SEASONS. AS A ROOKIE, DEREK MADE ONE OF THE MOST MEMORABLE PLAYS IN OUR SUPER BOWL VICTORY OVER THE PATRIOTS. HE HAS BEEN A GREAT TEAMMATE WHO ALWAYS PLAYED WITH HIGH ENERGY AND EFFORT. WE WISH DEREK NOTHING BUT THE BEST.”

ORIGINAL STORY BELOW!


The Philadelphia Eagles are waiving 2017 first-round pick Derek Barnett, according to a report from NFL insider Adam Schefter.

This news hardly comes as a total surprise. Barnett was a healthy scratch for the Eagles’ Week 9 game, which was their first following the NFL trade deadline. Here’s what we wrote at the time:

The big news is that Barnett is a healthy scratch; that was not expected! But it’s not a surprise in the sense that he’s failed to contribute much for some time now. The Eagles’ 2017 first-round pick has failed to log a stat in six out of his eight games this season. Barnett only has one sack and four QB hits over his last 17 games.

Barnett then missed the Eagles’ Week 11 game after their Week 10 bye due to “personal reasons.” Barnett also did not participate in practice this week.

And now he’s gone.

Moving on was the right call; Barnett’s penchant for committing unnecessarily dumb penalties made him a potential liability.

On that note, we wrote the following about Barnett after he found himself in a training camp scuffle back on August 9:

Even if Barnett had legitimate reason to be frustrated, this just isn’t a good look for a player who has a reputation for committing avoidable penalties. How can you possibly trust this guy to be on the field and not do something dumb that hurts the team?

I don’t think Barnett has had a very good camp. He hasn’t stood out in team drills. The only time I’ve noticed him in 1-on-1s is when he’s been getting shoved into the ground by Jordan Mailata.

It’s hard for me to believe Barnett is deserving of a spot on the 53-man roster. The Eagles should be looking to get anything they can get for him in a trade like they did with Jalen Reagor, another first-round disappointment, last year.

Barnett leaves Philly with 47 starts in 78 games played (including playoffs). He logged 23 sacks, 37 tackles for loss, and 81 quarterback hits over that span. Barnett clearly fell short of expectations as the No. 14 overall pick but he once was a solid player before injuries hampered and a deserved reputation for dumb penalties dropped his value. At the very least, Eagles fans can always appreciate his fumble recovery after Brandon Graham strip-sacked Tom Brady in Super Bowl LII (lucky bounce into Barnett’s hands but, hey, he still grabbed it).

We’ll see if the 27-year-old Barnett draws any attention on the waiver wire or if he becomes a free agent. The Cleveland Browns have some Eagles front office connections and Jim Schwartz loves him. The New York Jets could be a landing spot to watch due to Joe Douglas. The New York Giants might also be in play with Brandon Brown there.

As for where the Eagles go from here, one would think Barnett’s absence opens up playing time for 2023 first-round pick Nolan Smith. But that hasn’t really been the case thus far; Smith only played nine snaps in Week 9 and five in Week 11. His most recent game was his third-lowest snap count percentage of the season. The Eagles have instead been relying more heavily on starting edge rushers Haason Reddick and Josh Sweat.

Barnett’s absence does open up a valuable roster spot for the Eagles to work with. The team opened up 21-day practice windows for Justin Evans and Quez Watkins, who are eligible to return from injured reserve. The Birds are also rumored to be interested in free agent linebacker Shaq Leonard.

UPDATE: The Eagles officially

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