How much value does Barnett provide the Philadelphia Eagles moving forward?
Here’s a controversial statement if you’re a Philadelphia Eagles fan. There’s a lot of Ndamukong Suh in Derek Barnett. Stop laughing guys. Come on. This is serious. No, Barnett was never in the running for the Heisman Trophy. Then again, seeing as how Suh plays on defense, some might argue that he never had a serious shot after his final season at the NCAA level of taking home college football’s most prestigious award either.
Some of you are probably also thinking about the fact that Suh’s a five-time Pro Bowl nod and a three-time First-team All-Pro while Barnett’s still struggling to prove that he belongs in the NFL. It’s completely understandable. How are these two similar you ask? They’re both former first-rounders who have had their reputations damaged by some questionable on-field moves.
Both have been called “dirty players”. Both have worked hard to shed that label from their image. Suh’s career hasn’t quite turned out as some would have thought. His current employer, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the fourth team he’s been on since entering the league in 2010, so even though three teams have moved on from him there is some faith in his ability.
The “Birds” have moved on from Chris Long and Michael Bennett, and they recently exercised Barnett’s fifth-year option on his rookie deal for the same reason. They haven’t lost faith in their first-round selection from 2017’s draft, but “96” has to prove, once and for all, that he’s worth an extension.
Here are two reasons why you can argue that he is.