The Eagles released defensive end Connor Barwin on Thursday, a cost-cutting move that saved $7.75 million in salary-cap space but sent away a player who had been a four-year starter in their defense and a fixture in the Philadelphia community.
Barwin, 30, transitioned from a 3-4 outside linebacker to a 4-3 defensive end last season and could not generate the sack production the Eagles needed. He finished with five sacks while starting all 16 games. Barwin played every game since signing with the Eagles in 2013 and is tied for 13th in franchise history with 311/2 sacks. His best year was 2014, when he reached the Pro Bowl and was named second-team all-pro after registering 141/2 sacks.
It was expected that the Eagles would move on from Barwin. They had been trying to trade him, and he'll be attractive on the open market to teams that use a 3-4 defense or a 4-3 hybrid scheme.
Barwin lived in Center City and has about $4 million in parks projects around the city. The second phase of his Smith Playground reconstruction in South Philadelphia started Wednesday.
In a farewell message posted on his Instagram, Barwin thanked everyone from owner Jeffrey Lurie to teammates to fellow SEPTA riders. He said his foundation will continue to revitalize parks in the city and will hold his annual charity concert again this year.
"I have learned from and cherish every experience I have had in the great city of Philadelphia and every snap I played as an Eagle," Barwin said.
"It's rare to come across a player who invests so much of himself in the locker room, as a leader on the field, and with his relentless work ethic," Eagles executive Howie Roseman said in a statement. "His work in the community will have a lasting impact on our city that we can all be very proud of."
The Eagles have been trying to trade Mychal Kendricks this offseason, but what exactly are they asking for in return for the 26-year-old linebacker?
NFL sources said the Eagles want at least a fifth-round draft pick for Kendricks. But that has been a tough sell because interested teams assume they can just as easily get him for nothing once he's released.
A large chunk of Kendricks' salary for 2017 - $4.35 million - will be fully guaranteed by Friday at 4 p.m. The Eagles could waive him by then if they don't have a deal. But there's also a chance they will keep Kendricks beyond the deadline and try to trade him before the draft.
Kendricks is once against projected to play part-time behind Jordan Hicks and Nigel Bradham. The Eagles would save only $1.8 million of his $6.6 million cap figure by trading or releasing him, but it's difficult to see them keeping a part-time player at the larger number.
The Eagles are likely to retain offensive lineman Allen Barbre, NFL sources said.
The veteran was granted permission to shop for a trade and more money, but after exploring the landscape, Barbre will return to the fold. He started in 12 games last season - nine at left guard and three at right tackle - and had arguably his best season with the Eagles.
A hamstring injury ended Barbre's season. The 33-year-old offensive lineman has had durability issues in Philadelphia - he missed most of the 2014 season with a broken ankle - but he provides the Eagles with depth.
Barbre is slated to earn $2.25 million in 2017, which is a good number even if the Eagles plan for him to be the sixth man off the bench. If center Jason Kelce were to be traded and Isaac Seumalo was to replace him, Barbre could slide back into the starting left guard spot.
The Eagles re-signed reserve linebacker Najee Goode to a one-year contract. Goode, 27, first joined the Eagles in 2013 and is a special-teams contributor. . . . The Eagles did not extend a tender to restricted free agent Kenjon Barner, allowing him to sign elsewhere.