Fantasy Reaction: Connor Barwin Signs With Philadelphia
The Philadelphia Eagles are continuing to put the pieces in place for new Defensive Coordinator Billy Davis, signing Connor Barwin to a six-year, $36 million contract. This is a particularly big number for the rush outside linebacker who spent his first four seasons with the Texans.
Barwin has a history of putting up some real fantasy gems if you’re looking at single-game efforts. In 2011, he put up a four-sack effort against the Jaguars and logged three tackles for loss, a sack and a batted pass in the Texans 43-13 dismantling of the Ravens.
However, this hasn’t been the norm for Barwin. In fact, he rarely performs at that level. Despite flashes of brilliance, Barwin has been dreadful when you look at his full body of work. He logged a mediocre -9.0 overall PFF grade in his rookie season (including playoffs), but it was reasonable to think better days were ahead if you took a look at his solid games against the Bengals and Falcons, and flat-out dominant efforts versus the Steelers and Jaguars.
But then 2012 happened, and Barwin plummeted down the PFF rankings, finishing with a -18.9 grade during the regular season, which was weighted down by -20.2 pass-rush grade. The latter mark was fourth-worst among all edge rushers in 2012, only finishing ahead of Will Smith, Derek Wolfe and Erik Walden. Additionally, his 5.8 Pass-Rush Productivity mark ranked third-lowest among 3-4 outside linebackers.
2013 Fantasy Outlook
Barwin’s six-year deal would suggest the Eagles believe they can get more of those “flashes” Barwin has shown instead of the mediocrity that encompasses his overall body of work. With the Eagles’ depth chart fairly crowded with outside pass rushers, Barwin’s signing could signal the end of the road for Trent Cole, who doesn’t project well in a 3-4 scheme.
As a 3-4 OLB, Barwin won’t warrant an IDP roster spot unless you’re in the deepest of deep dynasty leagues. He recorded just three sacks a season ago, and with the low frequency he has been getting pressure throughout his career, don’t expect much more in 2013.