Packers Rumors: A Trade for Connor Barwin?

The Philadelphia Eagles are reportedly looking to cut ties with defensive end/linebacker Connor Barwin, whose age and salary have made him a poor fit for the Eagles’ defense.

Apparently, the Packers are considered a potential landing spot for the 30-year old defender, as Mark Eckel writes for Eckel believes that if the Eagles attempt to trade Barwin, the Packers would be interested:

Among the teams who could have interest in Barwin are the Green Bay Packers, the Baltimore Ravens and the Indianapolis Colts to name just three. All of those teams have room under the cap and not coincidentally all three teams use a 3-4 defensive scheme.

To his credit, Eckel soft-pedals this rumor, saying the Packers “could” be interested. But assuming Barwin is even actually available, would that even be a good move for Green Bay?

Certainly, the Packers need pass rushers. Nick Perry and Julius Peppers are both unrestricted free agents, and Clay Matthews is far from his Pro Bowl form. Beyond the big names, no one on the Packers has done much to distinguish himself as a pocket-pusher. At least on paper, it’s not totally insane that the Packers could theoretically be interested in Barwin.

Barwin will make more in 2017 than Julius Peppers in 2016

However, there are plenty of flies in that ointment, too. Barwin will be 31 in October and is going to be expensive with a capital E: his cap number is $8.3 million for 2017, jumping to $10.25 million for 2018. That’s more than Julius Peppers made last season, and even though he’s nearly a decade younger, Barwin is no Peppers and never has been.

To that point, Barwin just isn’t that productive either. He did play out of position in 2016, rushing from a three-point stance rather than as a stand up outside linebacker, the position in which he is most comfortable. But even in an outside linebacker role, Barwin has produced double digit sacks just once in the past five seasons.

If the Packers are looking for outside linebacker help, they could do better than Barwin, especially if he can only be had via trade.