Former Philadelphia Eagles first-round pick Derek Barnett could be on the move after the veteran defensive end was granted permission to seek a trade, according to a report from ESPN's Jeremy Fowler.
The six-year veteran, chosen by the Eagles No. 14 overall in the 2017 NFL Draft, has produced 21.5 career sacks to go with 147 total tackles, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
However, Barnett happens to currently make up part of arguably the NFL's deepest front seven — including the likes of Brandon Graham, Josh Sweat and Haason Reddick — which could make snaps difficult to come by in Philadelphia.
After tearing his ACL last season, Barnett is hoping to land where he has an opportunity to see meaningful playing time. The Eagles could save roughly $3.51 million by trading Barnett this season, according to Spotrac.
Here's a look at Derek Barnett's five best fits:
1. Kansas City Chiefs
General manager Brett Veach, head coach Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs have built a strong reputation around investing in and maximizing former first-round-pick reclamation projects. Given a potential significant need along the front seven, Barnett could at minimum be a solid rotational addition.
George Karlaftis was efficiently dominant as a rookie, logging 6.0 sacks, but it remains an open question who will start on the opposite side of the former first-round pick. Exacerbating things for the reigning Super Bowl champions is the uncertainty hovering around Chris Jones' status for the upcoming season. Barnett feels like the type of buy-low investment that is in Veach's wheelhouse to add production in Steve Spagnuolo's defense.
2. New England Patriots
New England has watched as the Miami Dolphins, New York Jets and Buffalo Bills have built explosive offenses around dynamic quarterbacks, and it could desperately use some dominance up front on defense as a counter-punch.
Barnett played a starring role in the Eagles' Super Bowl victory over the Patriots back in February 2018, and he could solve some of New England's defensive woes in 2023. Deatrich Wise and Lawrence Guy combined for 9.5 sacks during the 2022 campaign; and while Trey Flowers and second-round rookie Keion White figure to play their share of meaningful snaps, Barnett would be a welcomed veteran presence on a defense in need of fastballs.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars
Few coaches in the NFL are more familiar with Barnett — and how to maximize him — than Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson.
Pederson was the Eagles' head coach from the time Barnett was drafted in 2017 through his career-best 6.5-sack 2019 campaign. Jacksonville has a loaded young roster — headlined on defense by edge rushers Josh Allen and Folorunso Fatukasi — but the cupboard is largely bare behind the two starters who produced 8.5 sacks last season. Losing Arden Key pushes the position of pass rusher higher up the Jaguars' remaining list of needs, and Barnett could potentially fight for a starting job upon arriving in Duval.
4. Carolina Panthers
The ultimate irony for Carolina would be to trade some sort of asset to the Eagles to acquire Barnett after Haason Reddick went on to blossom into an All-Pro-caliber edge rusher in Philadelphia.
But bolstering the pass rush remains a top priority for general manager Scott Fitterer. Brian Burns remains a Pro Bowl-caliber defender, with upside of being potentially even more dominant. However, the Panthers are still waiting for Yetur Gross-Matos to live up to his college tape at Penn State, and Justin Houston feels more like a short-term veteran stopgap than any sort of long-term solution. In a wide-open NFC South, adding a disruptive pass rusher like Barnett could make Carolina's defense significantly more formidable.
5. Indianapolis Colts
After losing Yannick Ngakoue, the Colts could use some veteran help along the front seven.
Indianapolis will be looking for Samson Ebukam to make major strides following his career-high five-sack campaign in 2022, and it needs Kwity Paye to continue to develop. The Colts and general manager Chris Ballard have prioritized finding pass rush help via the NFL Draft for the last several seasons, and they spent big on the likes of veterans such as Ngakoue but with little success. Perhaps Barnett finds a home playing for Shane Steichen, who should be familiar with Barnett from his time as the Eagles' offensive coordinator.
Want More Sports News?
Get the biggest and best sports news sent directly to your inbox.