4 WRs the Eagles could trade Derek Barnett for
Prior to the start of the 2020 season, the Eagles seemingly surrounded Carson Wentz with the appropriate weapons to succeed. After coming out of the 2020 draft with Jalen Reagor, John Hightower, Quez Watkins, and Marquise Goodwin via trade, many felt good about the position.
DESEAN, REAGOR & GOODWIN HELL YEAH BROTHER. pic.twitter.com/qCae56Yvvs— Victor Williams (@ThePhillyPod) April 25, 2020
Goodwin has since opted out of the season due to COVID-19 concerns. Reagor has already sustained more injuries with the Eagles than he did during his entire collegiate career. DeSean Jackson is being load managed and somehow got hurt anyway.
The Eagles suddenly find themselves no better off than they were at the end of last season, with their current starting receivers being Greg Ward, John Hightower, and Deontay Burnett. In fact, Ward is on pace to have 75 receptions this season. And to make matters worse, only ONE WR practiced yesterday.
I know it’s redundant, but the Eagles yet again need help at receiver. Alshon is slated to return soon but who knows what he can bring at this point in his career. There aren’t any notable free agents available and you can spare me with the Antonio Brown conversations.
The Eagles don’t have many assets left at their disposal for any trades. Derek Barnett is the one somewhat intriguing piece they could offer. The former 2017 first-round draft pick has 16 sacks and 51 QB hits in his 4-year career in Philly. Barnett hasn’t had the impact that most had hoped for and has committed one too many dirty plays that you would want from a young player.
Barnett is in the final year of his rookie contract, and with the emergence of Josh Sweat, one has to wonder if his time is coming to an end in Philadelphia. There are some DE-needy teams that could potentially swap a WR for the young edge rusher:
Raiders, Zay Jones:
Jones was taken in the second round of the same draft class as Barnett. In 36 games with the Bills, he’s caught 90 passes for 1,037 yards and 9 TDs. After being buried on the depth chart in Buffalo, Zay Jones was sent to Oakland during the last offseason.
The Raiders could use some youth at edge rusher. Jerry Hughes has been average at best. Trent Murphy’s highest pass-rush grade to date has only been a 73.8 and he isn’t getting any younger at 30-years-old.
Zay Jones maintains control and scores his first TD as a Raider. 👀pic.twitter.com/y2go8oRMj2— Rotoworld Football (@Rotoworld_FB) September 22, 2020
Panthers, Curtis Samuel
Samuel went 40th overall in the 2017 draft (we’re starting to see a trend here). The Ohio State product caught 54 passes for 627 yards and 6 TDs in 2019 as Carolina’s gadget weapon. The Eagles would be able to plug him into a lot of the same plays that they initially had designed for Jalen Reagor.
The Panthers have the up-and-coming Brian Burns at edge rusher and took Yetur Gross-Matos in the draft to be opposite him. Other than them, there isn’t much depth at the position for Carolina. Derek Barnett could provide that depth and the Panthers have already looked into moving Samuel with Robby Anderson, DJ Moore, and Christian McCaffrey on the roster.
Lions, Marvin Jones Jr.
Jones Jr. has been a consistent contributor for the Detroit offense since signing his 5-year/$40M deal in 2016. The 9-year veteran recorded 62 catches for 779 yards and 9 TDs last season. Jones Jr. is averaging 15/yards per reception for his career and would be an instant veteran presence in a young WR room.
The Lions have Kenny Golladay, Danny Amendola, and drafted Quintez Cepheus at the WR position. The team could be looking to move Marvin Jones Jr. on an expiring deal before he becomes a free agent in 2021. The Lions only had a 30.3% defensive pressure rate last season (29th in the league) and the addition of Barnett would be an instant boost. I’d expect Detroit would request some draft compensation as well to offset the production that Jones Jr. provides.
Arizona, Christian Kirk
The Cardinals were able to steal (literally steal) DeAndre Hopkins from the Texans and Kyler Murray has immediately looked like an MVP candidate. It’s a good thing that the Eagles didn’t want to part with that coveted 2nd round pick to trade for Hopkins, they dodged a bullet there.
Alas, perhaps Christian Kirk could be had for Derek Barnett. Kirk has caught 111 receptions for 1,299 yards and 6 touchdowns over the last two seasons. He’s also missed 7 games so he’d fit in seamlessly in Philadelphia. Trade rumors were swirling around Kirk all offseason, and even though the team dismissed them, maybe he could still be had at the right price. Derek Barnett would be an immediate upgrade to Arizona’s pass rush, which is nonexistent beyond Chandler Jones.
A nice TD connection from Kyler Murray to Christian Kirk.— Rotoworld Football (@Rotoworld_FB) November 10, 2019
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