Philadelphia Eagles 2020 camp profile: Can Derek Barnett finally break out?

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Derek Barnett #96 of the Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Philadelphia Eagles fans are wondering if Barnett’s breakout will ever come.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Ever since the Philadelphia Eagles landed Derek Barnett in the first round of 2017’s NFL Draft with an assist from the Minnesota Vikings, who were kind enough to take Sam Bradford off of their hands, the “Birds” and their fans have held their breath in hopes that this former Tennessee Volunteers standout could bring back memories of a Vols defensive end that Philadelphia fielded many moons ago.

After all, we had heard over and over again that Derek Barnett broke Reggie White’s school record for the most sacks while playing with the program. What doesn’t get brought up a lot by people is that’s a very misleading statement. Barnett’s tenure with Tennessee exceeds that of White’s by 17 games. There’s also this other thing. There’s only one “Minister of Defense”.

White sits in his own category. Barnett, on the other hand, is a mystery. He’s had his moments. A strip-sack versus the Vikings in an NFC Championship Game here, a game-ending sack on Andrew Luck there, but for someone Philly moved on from both Michael Bennett and Chris Long for, those moments have been few and far between.

Year 4 is on the horizon, and now that Philadelphia has elected to exercise Barnett’s fifth-year option (and possibly sooner than they needed to), we all know Mr. Barnett will be here through 2021, but what does that mean exactly?

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