In Browns trade chatter, Eagles DE Derek Barnett was suggested as a target.
The NFL transaction season is almost here, which means the Browns will likely sign a few free agents and perhaps, make a trade.
Pats corner Stephon Gilmore was recently thrown out as a trade candidate, but ESPN Cleveland.com’s has now floated a defensive end as someone who would fit with Cleveland.
Grossi wrote about Derek Barnett on TheLandonDemand (subscription) and admitted his play has been lately underwhelming since the Eagles drafted him with the 14th pick in 2017.
In three years, Barnett has just 19 sacks in 48 games. He totaled 5.5 sacks last season and recorded only 16 tackles for a loss.
Why he’s available: Like David Njoku, Barnett sunk to third on the tight-end portion of the depth chart. He is now an obvious third at DE for the Eagles. As the Browns did with Njoku, Philadelphia picked up Barnett’s fifth-year option, meaning he’s under contract for 2021.
Rumor has it: Barnett is due $10 million this season…a high price to pay for your third DE. Grossi wrote that Barnett’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, is negotiating a price that would lower his cap number.
The risk: Grossi contended any team that trades for Barnett would extend his contract by “at least two or three” seasons. Barnett won’t turn 25 until June. His 33 sacks at Tennessee broke Reggie White’s record. There was a reason he went in top 15 the same year Cleveland snagged Myles Garrett No. 1.
Unfortunately, Barnett’s never picked up more than 6.5 sacks in an NFL season, where he should’ve thrived.
If Barnett can’t realize his potential playing opposite of Garrett, then he probably is nothing more than a rotational piece.
One wonders what a team friendly extension might look like. The Browns could always let him play out his one year, as they still need depth for 2021, but Barnett’s price would indeed go up if his career takes off in Cleveland.
The connection: In the one season Andrew Berry spent away from the Browns, he was employed by Philadelphia.