The Philadelphia Eagles released defensive end Connor Barwin, after the San Francisco 49ers reportedly called about a possible trade. Barwin is now set to make his first free agency visit, heading to meet the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday, according to ESPN’s Adam Caplan.
There is no word on what future visits are in store, but the Bengals could decide to make this a one-and-done thing for Barwin. He attended the University of Cincinnati, and the connections still seem to run deep for him. Whether the Bengals in turn offer enough money remains to be seen, but they would seem to have an edge.
The 49ers still need help on the edge in the Leo role of their new defense. Barwin was previously a 3-4 outside linebacker before the Eagles switched to a 4-3. If the 49ers were to pursue Barwin, he would likely compete with Aaron Lynch, Ahmad Brooks, Tank Carradine, and Eli Harold for the primary pass rush role. Brooks seems more likely to play the SAM linebacker role, Lynch has dealt with weight issues and last year’s suspension, and Tank and Harold have underachieved thus far.
The 49ers need another option for their pass rush, and while Barwin is getting old in football years, he could be a solid transitional piece in the new defense.