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Eagles Exercise Derek Barnett’s Fifth-Year Option

The Eagles are investing in their 2017 first-round draft pick, as they are reportedly exercising Derek Barnett’s fifth-year option in his contract.

It is unclear what Barnett's fifth-year option will cost. Last year, the cost of exercising a fifth-year option for a defensive end in Barnett's bracket (11th-32nd overall pick) of the 2016 draft class was $9,451,000. That figure will likely rise for Barnett and other first-round picks from 2017 in that pick range. The fifth-year salary will not become fully guaranteed until the first day of the new league year in March of 2021.

This was a no-brainer for the Eagles, as the benefits of exercising the option outweigh the costs. The Eagles can still negotiate a long-term deal with Barnett if they feel inclined to do so, but if they can not come to an agreement they will have him locked up for an additional year in 2021 at a fair price. If Barnett has a horrible 2020 season, the Eagles can release him before March of 2021 and not be on the hook for his option (unless Barnett suffers a long-term injury that carries into the 2021 league-year).

So far in his career, Barnett hasn't really established himself into a star, but certainly hasn't fallen into bust territory. In 35 career games, Barnett has recorded 67 tackles (23 for loss), 14 sacks, 49 QB hits, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and one return touchdown. If he breaks out and has a stellar 2020 campaign, Barnett can earn himself even more than the ~$10 Million he would earn in 2021 and beyond. For now though, it appears that Barnett will be an Eagle for at least the next two seasons.


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