Is Derek Barnett staring up at Josh Sweat on the Philadelphia Eagles depth chart?
Maybe you noticed this when training camp practices started. Maybe you didn’t, but either way, it’s definitely worth a mention. When the Philadelphia Eagles took the field on Wednesday for the first practice of 2021’s version of training camp, Josh Sweat sure was taking a lot of snaps with Philly’s first-team defense.
That’s good for Sweat, but it’s also bad for Derek Barnett. The lone remaining member of the Eagles’ 2017 NFL Draft class hasn’t met the expectations that are often and understandably placed on a guy that’s taken in the top 15 picks of any draft (Barnett went 14th overall).
Sure, he’s had his moments (that strip-sack versus the Minnesota Vikings in that NFC Championship Game, the fumble recovery in Super Bowl LII, the game-ending sack versus Andrew Luck in Frank Reich’s return to Lincoln Financial Field as the Colts’ coach), but more often than not, there have been more disappointments than reasons to celebrate.
He’s been called a dirty player. He’s been the subject of trade rumors, and if we’re being honest, no one should be surprised by Josh Sweat getting first-team reps. It’s very easy to argue that, at the end of the 2020-2021 NFL season, Sweat looked like the better player.
Following Philly’s decision to honor an option in Barnett’s rookie deal, this next season, his fifth will serve as his contract year, so as stated, this is absolutely and positively Derek Barnett’s final shot with this Philadelphia Eagles team. No, for real this time!