Barwin Signs with Rams
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) – If you listened to Wednesday’s Sports Bash you knew this was coming.
Connor Barwin chose logic over familiarity when deciding on his next NFL stop.
The former Eagles defensive end signed a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday, reuniting with Wade Phillips and the 3-4 defense that put him on the map, and eschewing a chance to return to where he was once a star in college, Cincinnati.
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) March 16, 2017
Barwin can make as much as $6.75 million with incentives in Los Angeles and will be penciled in to return to his more natural outside linebacker position opposite Robert Quinn after a year being a fish out of water as a defensive end in Jim Schwartz’s 4-3 scheme.
Phillips, now the Rams’ defensive coordinator, was the DC in Houston for two years Barwin was developing with the Texans after being taken the 46th overall pick in the 2009 draft out of the University of Cincinnati, where he played both football and basketball.
Barwin was released by Philadelphia earlier this month to create room under the salary cap, a move that freed up $7.75 million.
Barwin, 30, joined the Eagles via free agency in 2013 as a 3-4 linebacker and he became one of the team’s most productive and respected players, topping out with a 14 ½-sack season in 2014.
The move to the 4-3 under Schwartz did not figure to suit Barwin and that played out last season as he was asked not only to switch positions but also turn into a weak-side pass rusher, instead of where he’s most comfortable, on the strong side.
Barwin finished 2016 with 34 tackles, five sacks, and one forced fumble and was graded No. 100 out 109 qualifying edge defenders by ProFootballFocus.com.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen