PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Connor Barwin has only been in Philadelphia for two years, but he quickly has become one of the city’s favorite athletes. From riding SEPTA, to his charity work, to his 19.5 sacks in midnight green, to his candid and intelligent interviews, Barwin is very likable.
The 28-year-old Pro Bowl linebacker recently had his contract re-done, a reward by the Eagles, guaranteeing Barwin’s entire salary this season ($6.4 million), plus $3 million in 2016.
Barwin says he wants to finish his career in Philly.
“I think I’ve got at the most six more years left in my career,” Barwin told Howard Eskin, who was in for Angelo Cataldi, Friday on the 94WIP Morning Show. “Maybe four to six, but I’ve got four years left on my deal. And obviously the restructuring that just happened two days made me a little bit more secure and my plan is to be here until I’m done playing football and I love living in this city. Hopefully it all works out.
Listen: Connor Barwin on the 94WIP Morning Show
“If guys would live where they played year round, you would it see it happen more, but unfortunately guys choose not to do that,” Barwin, who lives in Rittenhouse Square, said. “Guys, for whatever reason, usually go where they’re from and stay in the offseason, and then it’s hard to really connect. During the season, it’s hard to connect to the city so much because you’re so busy. You’re 100-percent football mode all the time. It’s the offseason if you spend time where you play, where you really, really get involved and meet people outside of the football world and really start to learn about a city and enjoy a city.”
Barwin was in Haiti for his annual trip (where he helps with solar panel installation), during the week of Eagles mayhem. The Michigan native, who says he turned the Wi-Fi on every night while in Haiti to check the craziness, lost some key teammates as Nick Foles and LeSean McCoy were traded, and Jeremy Maclin signed with Kansas City.
“It’s all kind of crazy when it happens and you make friendships,” Barwin said. “And people don’t think about the friendships. So like I’ll miss just the friendship of Nick Foles and LeSean McCoy. But once you’ve been in this league, and Howard you know this you’ve been around for awhile, these things always happen. It always comes down to how much money you make, the business of football, where you fall in pulling away how much money you make and what you do. And that ratio, every year, is evaluated.”
Despite losing Foles, McCoy, and Maclin the Eagles added—most notably—QB Sam Bradford, LB Kiko Alonso, CB Byron Maxwell, RB DeMarco Murray, and RB Ryan Mathews. Barwins says he thinks his team is already better than they were at the end of 2014.
“Right now, it looks like we’ve improved,” Barwin admitted. “I mean without a doubt, we drastically improved at the inside linebacker position with adding Kiko, with adding Brad Jones, Najee [Goode] will be good, DeMeco [Ryans] will be back, and [Mychal] Kendricks. That’s as good as any inside group in the entire NFL, without a doubt. Obviously you sign Maxwell that’s a huge upgrade outside at corner. [Malcolm] Jenkins is back, I don’t know who is going to play the other safety. And then upfront, we’re all back essentially. We all should be better than we were last year, except for Trent Cole. So, somebody is going to have to step up and hopefully Marcus Smith or Travis Long will be the guy who that steps up for us.”