From penalties to productivity: Derek Barnett's journey from the Eagles to Texans

Derek Barnett changed teams and changed our perception of him. Go figure.
Derek Barnett, Philadelphia Eagles
Derek Barnett, Philadelphia Eagles / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

We all kind of knew how it was going to turn out, didn't we? The Philadelphia Eagles waived defensive end Derek Barnett on November 24th, 2023. Three days later, he was picked up by the Houston Texans. Seven games in H-Town (five regular season games and two during the postseason) led to, get this, some pretty productive football. 

Barnett logged 3.5 sacks, 13 quarterback hits, and ten tackles for a loss in a Texans jersey this season. During the eight games that he was on the Eagles' active roster, he tallied one tackle for a loss.

In five of those eight games, he failed to log a single stat. So good for him. Good for Barnett. He found a new home and enjoyed a bit of a renaissance. Maybe we can celebrate those times when we’ve seen him play decently for Philly even if that was a long time ago. 

Derek Barnett earns his reputation with Eagles fans.

Production, or his lack thereof wasn't what we most often discussed when mentioning Derek's place in Eagles lore. It was the penalties, BAD penalties that came at the most inopportune times.

Barnett didn't end drives. He extended them. And, it's the mental errors that have forever marred our opinions of DB. 

Derek Barnett: Is it him or not?

“It’s always him”. Those words will ring in Eagles lore forever, but maybe we should give the former first-rounder a break. Barnett played 99 snaps for the Eagles this season and another 268 for the Texans. In 367 total snaps, he never drew a flag. Zero. No, for real. He wasn't penalized once.

ZERO penalties... Zero personal fouls... No offsides penalties... No illegal hands to the face... NOTHING... We’re talking about the guy who racked up eight penalties in 2021, three penalties in 2020, and nine penalties in 2019.

NINE of the 20 flags Barnett has drawn during his career were the results of personal fouls. That guy was flagged zero times all season long. THAT GUY...

Now, before we get too excited, we have to say Barnett's foul-free campaign didn't come because of a lack of effort.

That may forever be remembered as Barnett's final questionable moment as an Eagle. Were there more situations like this that didn’t draw any attention? Maybe there were. Maybe there weren't.

This whole thing is not an indictment on the Eagles for getting rid of a talented guy. The Eagles were right to let him go because it just wasn't working for anyone involved. This is more of a ‘Come on dude…’ kind of thing. How did we all know that it would probably work out for him elsewhere?

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