Eagles DE Derek Barnett is assured of a roster spot, but is that a wise decision?

A restructured contract and guaranteed money all but ensures that Derek Barnett will make the Philadelphia Eagles' initial 53-man roster.
Derek Barnett, Philadelphia Eagles
Derek Barnett, Philadelphia Eagles / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

Despite the massive number of great things that Howie Roseman has done for the Philadelphia Eagles, there is one aspect of his personality that still makes us scratch our heads, his tendency to get too attached to players and keep them around long after it has been established that Philly should move on.

Yeah, there are instances where he finally off-loaded a few guys that had overstayed their welcome, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and Nelson Agholor come to mind. Some would argue that it was amazing that Howie received anything in return for Jalen Reagor, a former first-round pick that didn't pan out. The decisions to move on from all of those guys were wise moves. Fast forward, and Philly's general manager is at it again.

This past week, he restructured the contract of an annually underperforming former first-round pick, defensive end Derek Barnett… and just… Why? Why, Howie? Why?

No one is perfect and as great as Howie has been, he has certainly shown his flaws in the past. It feels like he’s learning from his mistakes for the most part. He’s as close as they come to being the perfect general manager. There's just one final Infinity Stone he needs to add.

Howie could benefit greatly from the superpower that allows him to recognize that some of the guys he drafted aren't going to work out for this team long-term. This isn't news to anyone (at least it shouldn't be). Maybe it's time to realize that Derek Barnett is never going to warrant the faith Philadelphia placed in him when they drafted him 14th overall in the 2017 NFL Draft.

Is Derek Barnett one of the 53 best players on the Eagles roster?

For the uninitiated, there are only 53 guys that make it onto an NFL team's active roster. Only 48 of those guys dress on game day. We have long known that Derek 'The Human Liability' Barnett would make the Eagles roster. The restructured deal (and the decision to give him an additional $2 Million in guaranteed money) all but ensures that, unless he's traded, he's going to be around all season.

Let's just hope that more moments like this aren't on the way.

It’s not like the Eagles are starving for depth at defensive end. If a former first-rounder is arguably your fifth pass rusher, that isn't a bad problem to have. The fear here, however, is the decision to continue employing Barnett robs Philly of the opportunity to use the roster spot on someone more deserving.

The Birds have needs in other areas. How does one rationally justify keeping Barnett if that means they have to drop a guy like Kentavius Street or Greedy Williams? The other nightmare scenario involves the possibility that Philadelphia keeps Barnett and drops a younger prospect with a higher ceiling. Those guys aren’t hard to find because one might argue that Barnett’s ceiling is the occasional sack or his ability to stumble into a fumble recovery (see Super Bowl LII).

Hopefully, this is just an elaborate piece of a potential Howie Roseman trade proposal. Maybe Barnett does a Brandon Graham thing where his career has a second act. He won’t. Derek isn't close to being in the same class as B.G., but maybe D.B. will surprise us.

If he does, it most certainly would suck if he did so while reinventing himself while playing for a different team. It isn't like that has happened before. See Jordan Poyer, Mack Hollins, Jordan Hicks, or the aforementioned Nelson Agholor if you're looking for recent examples.

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