Connor Barwin's time in Philadelphia has come to an end.
The Eagles on Thursday released the veteran defensive end and former Pro Bowler. It's a move that will save the team considerable cap space.
Coming into Thursday morning, the Eagles had just $6,186,518 in cap space, so they more than doubled their space with the move.
With two years left on his deal, Barwin was scheduled to have an $8.35 million cap hit in 2017. This move will save the Eagles most of that: $7.75 million. The Eagles will have to absorb just $600,000 in dead money from the move. The Eagles have around $13.4 million in space after the move.
Eagles vice president of football operations Howie Roseman released the following statement:
"Connor Barwin is a tremendous teammate, player and an even better person. He represented the Philadelphia Eagles with class and integrity for the past four seasons and we appreciate his efforts both on and off the field. It’s rare to come across a player who invests so much of himself in the locker room, as a leader on the field, and with his relentless work ethic. His work in the community will have a lasting impact on our city that we can all be very proud of. Obviously, this was a difficult decision for us, but we wish him and his family all the best. On behalf of all of us, we just wanted to say thank you and we all hope that our paths cross again in the future."
Financially, this move makes plenty of sense, but it was still probably pretty difficult for the Eagles. Aside from being a consummate pro in the locker room and on the field, Barwin's extensive charity work through his organization, Make the World Better Foundation, did great things in the city.
Barwin released a heartfelt thank you on Instagram.
Barwin, 30, will move on after his production dropped in 2016 with the Eagles' switch from a 3-4 defense to a 4-3. Barwin went from an outside linebacker to a hand-in-the-dirt defensive end.
After racking up 14 1/2 sacks in his Pro Bowl 2014 season, Barwin had seven in 2015 and five in 2016. The Eagles signed Barwin as a free agent from the Houston Texans before the 2013 season. He spent four years in Philadelphia.
Shortly after the offseason began, Barwin said publicly that he would be willing to take a pay cut to stay in Philadelphia. That didn’t happen.
While trying to explain his lack of production in 2016, Barwin said he moved from the left side to the right after Vinny Curry signed his big extension. Then, when Brandon Graham outplayed Curry in training camp, he took over on the left. Being on the right, for Barwin, meant going up against left tackles throughout the season.
"Well, I think there were a couple games I'd want back that I didn't play as good as I think I could have played," Barwin said in December when asked to evaluate his play. "And I would probably say that for about every year I've ever played in my career. There's always one or two games you'd want back.
"But the season as a whole, I think I've improved as the season's gone on, I've done my job for the most part, and I'm excited to see what I can do in Year 2 in this system."
He won't get the chance to play a second year in this system. Instead, Barwin is moving on.