On Friday afternoon the Los Angeles Rams announced that they have signed free agent defensive end Connor Barwin to a one-year contract that can be worth up to $6.5 million dollars.
Barwin, who has been an ironman in the NFL starting all 96 games since the start of the 2011 season, played the last four seasons with a Philadelphia Eagles, being named to one Pro Bowl in 2014. It was that season that he had a career-high 14.5 sacks to go along with 64 total tackles. Barwin has 50.5 career sacks in eight seasons.
In 2016 he saw a bit of a dip in his production as his five sacks were the lowest for him since 2013 and his 34 tackles were the lowest for him since his rookie season in 2009.
Barwin was drafted in the second round in 2009 out of Cincinnati by the Houston Texans. It was in Houston that he played for Wade Phillips, who is now the defensive coordinator of the Rams. Under Phillips, Barwin had 11.5 sacks with the Texans in 2011.
The Rams are set to changed to a 3-4 defense under Phillips in 2017, with both Barwin and Robert Quinn playing that hybrid defensive end/outside line backer role on opposite sides of each other. The last couple seasons with the Denver Broncos Phillips had Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware playing those roles, and the Broncos had a lot of success with it so he will look to replicate that in Los Angeles.