32-Year-Old Linebacker – Free Agent
2013 Fantasy Football Outlook
Backup linebacker. Coming off a major knee injury. If healthy he will spell London Fletcher and Perry Riley....
2013 ADP: –
Nick Barnett Contract Information:
Agreed to a one-year contract with the Redskins in July of 2013.
Barnett agreed to a one-year contract with the Redskins on Wednesday, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports.
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|Tackles||Defensive Stats||Fumbles||Kick Ret||Punt Ret|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Snap Count||Tackles||Defensive Stats||Fumbles||Kick Ret||Punt Ret|
A blank stat line is used above whenever a player was not on the field for any plays in the game that week.
Nick Barnett: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Barnett turned in a solid first season with Buffalo, finishing with 130 tackles (78 solo), three sacks and three interceptions (one returned for a touchdown). It’s difficult to know exactly what to expect from him in 2012 – the Bills are switching to a primarily 4-3 alignment after previously running the 3-4 – but Barnett has a history of producing in both schemes and is therefore a safe bet to hit 120 tackles again in 2012. Rather than scheme, the primary worry with Barnett will always be durability. Although he played all 16 games in 2011, he missed 19 games from 2008 to 2010. With a frightening defensive line of Mario Williams, Marcell Dareus, Kyle Williams and Mark Anderson ahead of him, Barnett will have plenty of freedom to roam and blitz as an outside linebacker in 2012.
The Bills signed the veteran Barnett after losing Paul Posluszny to free agency. Barnett isn't Poz, but this landing spot nonetheless provides a huge boost to his IDP potential. Besides typically spending a lot of time on the field, Barnett should get a good chance to post big tackle numbers thanks to what looks like an improved Buffalo defensive line. The only risk here is possibly injury, as Barnett missed most of 2010 with a wrist injury, and also just turned 30.
Barnett led the Packers with 106 tackles in 2009 and chipped in four sacks. He should be able to put up similar numbers in 2010.
Barnett’s string of five straight seasons with 100-plus tackles ended last year when he missed seven games with a torn knee ligament. Before the injury, he was having a down year – as were most of the Packers – averaging less than six tackles a game. Several signs point to a turnaround this year, however. The Packers brought in mastermind Dom Capers to coach the defense, and highly-touted defensive tackle B.J. Raji to play the nose in Capers’ 3-4. That should mean Barnett and fellow ILB A.J. Hawk will be free to make plays from sideline to sideline. Now healthy, expect a return to 2007 levels, when Barnett approached his career high in tackles, posted 3.5 sacks and two interceptions.
Barnett made 131 tackles in 2007, just seven off his career high from 2005 and the third time in four seasons that he recorded 123 or more stops. Barnett is consistent and provides a modest boost in other categories (two interceptions in each of his last two campaigns and a career-high 3.5 sacks in 2007). Patrick Willis and David Harris are two great young tacklers, but Barnett isn't far behind and he's not over the hill at age 27. His best attribute is his agility, so his stock will drop once he loses a step. We don't think that will happen this season.
Barnett has been a mainstay among IDP linebackers since his 2003 rookie campaign. He's turned excellent athleticism, mobility and ability on the move into four consecutive 100-tackle seasons. Last year his numbers were down, as he missed a game with a broken hand and had six games of five total tackles or less. Barnett is below the elite even in his best tackling years, so it's good that in each of his four pro seasons he's had at least one pick and one sack. Maybe that dip in tackling had to do with rookie A.J. Hawk vacuuming up all the tackles from the weak side. That little bit of uncertainty drops Barnett a touch, but he's been a consistent performer throughout his career and delivered a Top-20 level of points per game last year, so we’re not that concerned.
Barnett is the flip side to Keith Brooking. They’re both hovering in the high eighties and low nineties in solo tackles every year. To get up among the very best, Brooking has been able to maintain amazing playmaking totals of five-to-seven combined sacks and picks each year. Seems risky to bank on it every season, but he keeps doing it. If he didn’t, he’d be Barnett. Our man in Green Bay has posted a pick and a sack in every year of his three-year career. But he doesn’t get three or four of each. What he lacks in size, Barnett makes up for in skill by shedding blocks and in motor: it’s hard to imagine he doesn’t increase those playmaking totals watching him zoom around the field. There’s every reason to expect a fourth straight year solidly in the fantasy worthy category from Barnett, and some upside to see him rise to the elite.
Barnett has this linebacking thing down. He nets a passel of tackles and has a talent for rushing the quarterback. Although he prefers to do it from the outside, since he lines up in the middle, he’s certainly finding ways to get to the QB. This means he’s in coverage less and has fewer opportunities for interceptions and passes defended, though. The tackle numbers are stable and just short of elite, but there are some holes with consistency: he went a five-game span in 2004 with no more than four fantasy points in any game. He’s also never forced a fumble and has just two recoveries in two years, but don’t kid yourself about his status as a top-10 linebacker.
All right – some new blood! Barnett was the top linebacker taken in the 2003 draft, albeit 29th in the first round, and he was the best first-year defender. He won Rookie of the Week three times, was Defensive Rookie of the Month in October and was a Rookie of the Year finalist on the strength of 88 solo tackles, two sacks and three interceptions in 15 games. That tackle total isn’t what the elite put up, but given a full season and a reasonable amount of growth, he should step it up. He’s certainly a playmaker elsewhere on the stat sheet, so more tackles and better game-to-game consistency are really the only things on our Barnett wish list.
Barnett is being all but handed a starting job, and Mike Sherman has compared him to a young Hardy Nickerson. High praise, indeed. Keep an eye on the Green Bay rookie, who was the 29th overall pick in the 2003 draft.