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Houston Texans Sign Former Tennessee Defensive End

Derek Barnett
VFL Derek Barnett. Photo via Philadelphia Eagles.

The Houston Texans claimed former Tennessee Vols and Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Derek Barnett off waivers on Monday afternoon, ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported.

Philadelphia dropped the veteran defensive lineman last week after Barnett requested a trade from the Eagles earlier this season. According to Schefter’s reporting, Houston considered trading for Barnett during last month’s trade deadline.

The Eagles drafted Barnett with the 17th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft and the former Tennessee standout had spent his entire career there before this move. Barnett was a consistent starter for the Eagles while on his rookie contract and signed a two-year extension before the 2022 season.

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But Barnett tore his ACL in the Eagles’ 2022 season opener and never regained the same role as younger Philadelphia defensive linemen emerged during that time.

In seven seasons, Barnett’s started 45 games and totaled 150 tackles, 21.5 sacks and three forced fumbles with the Eagles. Barnett’s 2019 season was his best as he recorded 6.5 sacks and forced two fumbles.

Barnett joins a Houston team trending in the AFC with rookie quarterback CJ Stroud and first-year coach DeMeco Ryans. The Texans are currently 6-5 and in the heart of the AFC wild card race.

In three years at Tennessee, Barnett became one of the most storied defenders in program history. Barnett broke Reggie White’s career sack record by totaling 32 in his career. Barnett recorded 198 tackles, 52 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles in his college career. Barnett earned All-American honors during his junior season.

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