All offseason, the rumors surrounding the likelihood of a trade for Zach Ertz sucked up much of the oxygen in the Philadelphia trade rumor room. However, it may not be the most likely trade to be made in the coming weeks. The argument could be made for keeping Ertz and there’s no solid consensus that he would hold out if not traded or given a new contract, so the need to deal him may not be great enough based on current interest. Instead, there is another veteran candidate for a trade that would make real sense from a cap perspective for the Eagles to move soon…Derek Barnett.Embed from Getty Images
Eagles trade Derek Barnett: What’s the cap impacts?
He has one more year left on his deal and they could save over $10M in cap space by trading him, with zero dead cap hit. Barnett’s production has been spotty, but he’s still an attractive trade piece for a contender who is looking to bolster their edge rush rotation right before training camp starts. Available free agents at defensive end currently include players like Justin Houston, Olivier Vernon, and Everson Griffen. Barnett is younger and could be used even on running downs, unlike many of the pass rush specialists still available. So, what teams do we think the Eagles trade Derek Barnett to?
The Vikings have struggled to find a replacement for Everson Griffen for the past couple of years. They’ve tried several different ways to get a productive talent to play opposite of Danielle Hunter, but each attempt has been worse than the one that came before it. The trade for Yannick Ngakoue looked to be the blockbuster deal the team needed, but it was so poor he didn’t even finish the year in Minnesota. That mistake cost them their second-round pick in the 2021 draft. With close to $15M in cap room, the Vikings can pull off this deal. As it currently stands, D.J. Wonnum is playing opposite of Hunter.
Seattle Seahawks:Embed from Getty Images
The Seahawks best pass rusher is their safety Jamal Adams. They re-signed Carlos Dunlap and brought in Kerry Hyder Jr. They thought that signing Aldon Smith would add depth to the edge, but within a couple of days after his signing, he was involved in an altercation in a coffee shop in Louisiana. The team is still waiting to hear from the league regarding his availability, but either way they need more depth here. With a newly extended seventeen game season and hopefully a lengthy playoff run beyond that, Seattle should jump at the chance to get Barnett for nothing of substantial value. They have just over $5M of cap room left, so they’ll need to re-work a contract to stay under.
New York Jets:
I know I said contenders would be interested, but even though the Jets may very well come in last place in the AFC East they should be trying to add as much talent to their team as possible. With almost $35M in cap space available, taking a $10M hit has very little impact on them. Their current starters at edge rusher are Vinny Curry and Carl Lawson. Barnett would instantly walk in as an improved starter over former teammate Curry, who is more fitted to a second or third string role on an adequately constructed roster.
New England Patriots:
The Patriots made big moves this offseason with the signings of Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith, and then the drafting of Mac Jones. Dont’a Hightower is back from his year off and they re-signed Kyle Van Noy after leaving Miami. Whether or not they end up trading Stephon Gilmore, this defense should return to a form more closely resembling the 2019 team and not the 2020. They still need help at defensive end with starters projected to be Lawrence Guy and Henry Anderson. They drafted Ronnie Perkins, who massively fell in the draft, but it’s unclear how they’ll actually use him in their defense. Barnett is big enough to play defensive end in this 3-4 scheme. The team also possesses close to $13M in cap room to pull it off.
The Colts had a big need at defensive end, which is why they took Kwity Paye in the first round of the draft to play opposite of Al-Quadin Muhammad. Beyond those two, they’re pretty thin with the depth chart made up of Tyquan Lewis, Kemoko Turay, and Ben Banogu. They used a second-round pick in 2021 on defensive lineman Dayo Odeyingbo; however, he tore his Achilles well before the draft back in January. Indianapolis thought he was too good of a talent to pass up on, even if they’ll have to wait until 2022 to have him on the field. In the meantime, they get Barnett to fill the void.