The Philadelphia Eagles have signed free-agent linebacker Connor Barwin to a six-year deal on Thursday, according to a tweet from the team's official feed. The deal is worth $36 million, including $8 million guaranteed.
Barwin spent the past four seasons with the Houston Texans with inconsistent results. In 2011, he recorded 11.5 sacks for the Texans, but Barwin only managed three sacks in 2012. Still Barwin will be expected to put pressure on the quarterback in Philadelphia and improve the pass rush.
Capable of playing either outside linebacker position in a 3-4 or serving as a defensive end in a 4-3, Barwin was an option for many teams looking to add some edge rushing pressure at a slightly cheaper rate than the top free-agent pass rushers. He had multiple suitors before deciding to sign with the Eagles. With Philadelphia, Barwin could play either defensive end or outside linebacker, as the Eagles may be transitioning from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defense.
With Barwin, Philadelphia is getting a durable pass-rushing threat, who at age 26, should have plenty of gas left in the tank. Barwin missed almost the entire 2010 season with an ankle injury, but has not missed a game in any of his other three seasons and shows no signs of damage in the ankle.
The Texans have no shortage of pass rushers and with Barwin gone will slide second-year player Whitney Mercilus into his position and not miss a beat.