Even after he had already said publicly that he'd take a pay cut, when the Eagles cut Connor Barwin on March 9 it wasn't a surprise.
Barwin's production had dropped and he was set to have a cap hit of over $8 million and the Eagles saved almost all of that space by releasing him.
Appearing on 94WIP on Tuesday afternoon, Barwin, who has since signed with the Los Angeles Rams, detailed his final couple of weeks with the Eagles.
"After the season ended, I said that I would take a pay cut," Barwin said. "Obviously, when I signed my deal, which some people don't understand, I signed six-year, $36 million deal that was backloaded with $18 million in the last two years, so I knew whether I was getting 10 sacks or five sacks, we were going to restructure at Year 5. And that's really what I was alluding to when I said a pay cut. The Eagles had only paid me $4 or $5 million a year my first four years, so they weren't just going to start paying me $8 or $9 (million).
"So I said I would take a pay cut and obviously my agent met with (Eagles de facto GM) Howie (Roseman) and his staff at the combine and they were looking for a very drastic pay cut, so we decided to go our separate ways. Howie was great. He obviously took as long as he could to try to work out a trade to get some value for me and then he did the right thing to release me the day before free agency started and allowed me to kind of continue my career."
When Barwin said he would take a pay cut, it seemed like an overly optimistic thought. From the outside, it was always pretty clear that he wouldn't be on the team in 2017 unless he reduced his salary a ton. That's apparently what the Eagles asked and it's hard to fault Barwin or the Eagles for moving on.
Barwin, 30, was understanding of the situation and thought the Eagles handled it well.
"Obviously, I knew things were happening about a week before they happened last Wednesday," he said. "And that still made Thursday, the day I was released, a very hard day for me and my family. But Friday and Saturday, you move on and look to the future."
The future for Barwin is in LA, where he is reuniting with defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. Barwin played under Phillips with the Texans before he earned the big contract in Philly.
Barwin seemed excited to be back in Phillips' 3-4 defense. Last season, Barwin had to transition from a 3-4 into Jim Schwartz's 4-3, but has continued to say that wasn't the transition that hurt him the most. Last season he also moved from the left side of the defensive end to the right, which meant going up against the best left tackles in the game. With the Rams, Barwin will be back on the left.
While he will be living in LA, his foundation, the Make the World Better Foundation, will continue to do charity work in Philadelphia and Barwin said he's made Philly his home. That isn't changing.
During the interview with Chris Carlin and Ike Reese on WIP, Barwin revealed he has an interest in joining management of a team after his playing days are over. So with that eye, he gave his assessment of where the Eagles are heading.
"Now, I'm on the outside, I think it's smart what Howie is doing," Barwin said. "I think they've got a great quarterback or what could potentially be a great quarterback in Carson Wentz and they're giving him weapons. They obviously loaded up on the offensive line, which I think is smart. You're always going to get one or two injuries a year. I think that they've got seven or eight guys, good guys on their offensive line and obviously they've added wide receivers.
"And lastly, I think the future is bright for Doug because just playing for him one year, I know that guys wanted to play for him. Guys enjoyed being around him. He enjoys being around the guys, he loves being around football. And I think that's important.
"Obviously, as a defensive player, I'm excited to see what Vinny does with this opportunity, what other guys they kind of bring in to fill my hole. Obviously, Jim Schwartz has had a ton of success in this league and I'm excited to see what they do up front, adjusting to me being gone."