Eagles, Derek Barnett agree to restructured deal while veterans continue support of their teammate

Don't give up on Derek Barnett. The Eagles most certainly haven't.
Derek Barnett, Philadelphia Eagles
Derek Barnett, Philadelphia Eagles / Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

As great as Philadelphia Eagles Vice President/General Manager Howie Roseman has been, we can all attest to being there for some of the growing pains. Look no further than this team's 2017 NFL Draft class, one that saw the addition of Derek Barnett at 14. Here's the kicker. That year, the selection meeting was hosted in the City of Brotherly Love, so there was no reason for Barnett to board a plane at the draft's conclusion.

The Birds added eight prospects that year. Four of the players taken are out of the NFL six years later. Only one of the remaining four players, Barnett, is still on the roster, and there are times when it feels like he has one foot in the door and one foot on the outside.

Time flies. Fast forward from 2017 to the present, and Number 96 is still hanging in there despite being a disappointment. Don't look now, but this week, he has become a subject of conversation again as he received a vote of confidence following the Eagles first training camp practice. One day later, news also broke that he and the BIrds have restructured his deal.

Don't give up on Derek Barnett. The Eagles most certainly haven't.

Following a humid day at Eagles training camp practice, their first on Wednesday, July 26th, Brandon Graham was made available for select members of the Philly media. It's ironic because, if there's anyone who can relate to what Barnett must be feeling as he enters his seventh NFL season, it would have to be B.G., someone who fell victim to a slow start himself.

Philly ignored guys like Earl Thomas by drafting Brandon Graham 13th overall in 2010. No one needs to be reminded that there were concerns that the light bulb might never come on for him, but he weathered the storm, continued to improve, and now, he is looked at as a franchise legend who is a shoo-in for the Eagles Hall of Fame.

Here's what he said about his teammate and friend.

"I told him outside ... 'Hey man. Just put that smile up. Smile more because, at the end of the day, you're still here. (It's) so much you done been through. You can make it all (the criticism) go away just by what you do this year. Luckily, we still got that chance, so enjoy and embrace that chance. Make sure you're working every day. Like I tell you, control what you can... I just be wanting to be there for those guys because, mentally, a lot of people just don't realize how great of a spot they're really in. Sometimes what the media or what people say sometimes get to people, and I always try to help them with that because y'all (the media) got a job to do just as much as we got a job. We gotta make sure we block the noise as much as y'all gotta keep the noise up."

Hours after a Thursday walkthrough, Field Yates reported Barnett and the Eagles have agreed to a restructured deal. He was previously due a $7.5 million salary with $1.5M guaranteed and the potential to earn up to $1M in per-game bonuses. That would give him a max value $8.5 million.

Following the restructure, he's now due $3.5 million in guaranteed salary. He also has the opportunity to earn $250,000 in per-game bonuses and up to $2.25M in incentives. That gives him a max value of $6 million in 2023.

So, here we are, and Barnet's story continues. There have been suggestions that support the idea of trading him and even a few whispers that have suggested there's an overwhelming desire among fans and the media that many would like to see him released if no trade can be made, yet somehow Barnett keeps hanging in there.

Is there a little 'Brandon Graham' in Derek Barnett? It would be nice. Last season, B.G. produced the highest single-season sack total of his career. It was the first time he eclipsed double-digit sacks. While some wonder if the 14th season of his career will be his swan song (he has said he'd like to play 15), it's hard to deny that, if he passed the torch to Derek Barnett, another underdog, that would make for one hell of an Eagles story.

Time will tell if Barnett turns the corner and begins warranting the first-round selection that Philly invested in him. Here's what we know. We're pulling for him. His teammates and coaches are too.

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