We’ve talked about the Green Bay Packers’ issues at outside linebacker. Here’s one potential solution, if the Packers want to do something about it: Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Connor Barwin.
Most people around the league believe the Eagles will either release or try to trade Barwin, who is scheduled to make $7.75 million in 2017 and $10.25 million in 2018. Barwin’s numbers were down in 2016 — 34 tackles, five sacks and one forced fumble. However, the Eagles switched from a 3-4 defense to a 4-3 defense in 2016. That change moved Barwin from his traditional outside linebacker position to defensive end.
Barwin is believed to be a better fit as a 3-4 outside linebacker. The potential interested parties for his services — Green Bay, Baltimore and Indianapolis — all play the 3-4.
We’ve documented the Packers’ need. What would they be getting in Barwin?
In his last season as a linebacker, Barwin had 44 tackles, seven sacks, a forced fumble and defended seven passes. His best season came in 2014, when he had 64 tackles, 14.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and defended five passes.
Barwin has twice had double digit sacks.
Would the Packers actually make a move? No doubt if Barwin were released, we could see the Packers making a play, similar to how they brought in Julius Peppers in 2014. If Barwin is released, he isn’t technically considered a free agent and thus doesn’t count against the compensatory draft pick formula.
On the other hand, we have a really hard time seeing the Packers giving up a draft pick in a trade. MAYBE a sixth or a seventh-rounder, but we all know Ted Thompson is loathe to part with draft picks, even if it would result in improving the team and addressing a need.
We all remember when he refused to part with a fourth-rounder to acquire future Hall of Famer Randy Moss.