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Derek Barnett takes a pay cut

The DE’s new deal has a lot more guaranteed money but less overall earning potential.

New York Jets v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

It’s not entirely surprising that the Eagles would look to restructure Derek Barnett’s contract heading into the season, with a defensive line loaded with depth. Looks like the team gave him a lot of opportunities to earn money via incentives and has a higher guaranteed salary, but ultimately, the 2017 first-round pick is still taking a pay cut.

The deal might work out better for Barnett whose injury history has started adding up. The DE missed pretty much the entire 2022 season after suffering a torn ACL in Week 1. The max value of his original deal was worth $8.5 million and now it’s $6 million, which is still a good chunk of change.

The Eagles have always and will always invest in the trenches, and continued to do so through the draft and the offseason, so Barnett will have more competition for snaps. He’ll also have to work back into playing shape and find that confidence that often lags behind with such a big injury.

The DE played 16 games in 2021 and had a career-low 2.0 sacks. Barnett hasn’t had big money production since 2020, so this new deal looks like a win-win for both sides, and certainly gives the veteran a chance to prove himself and subsequently fill his pockets.

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