Barbre says he'd welcome a starting role with Eagles

Eagles tackle Allen Barbre (76) and center Jason Kelce (62). (AP Photo/Michael Perez)
Eagles tackle Allen Barbre (76) and center Jason Kelce (62). (AP Photo/Michael Perez)
Posted: June 06, 2014

The Eagles' signing of Allen Barbre to a three-year contract extension was done with an eye toward 2015, when Todd Herremans carries a $5.2 million salary-cap hit and Evan Mathis will turn 34.

But could Barbre compete with Herremans, who is the most vulnerable on the offensive line, for the starting right guard spot this season?

"I don't know. No one's ever even talked to me about it," Barbre said Wednesday. "I just go out and perform to the best of my ability."

Herremans doesn't appear to be in jeopardy of losing his job. Despite a slow start last season, he settled in and helped make up one of the better units in the NFL. But the Eagles certainly have enough confidence in Barbre, who is once again expected to be the first tackle or guard off the bench.

"Yeah, I want to start," Barbre said. "If I'm playing well enough to start, I want to start."

Barbre's versatility off the bench is the No. 1 reason the Eagles approached him about an extension. He had one year left on his deal and could have become a free agent next offseason, but he wanted the security.

"I like the system here," Barbre said. "I'm comfortable here."

He received a $600,000 signing bonus up front, but very little of his restructured $5.23 million contract is guaranteed. His base salaries are $730,000 this season and $1.25 million for each of the next three seasons.

Barbre first signed with the Eagles in January 2013, a day before Chip Kelly was hired. He fit in well with offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland's blocking methods and Kelly's penchant for using zone blocking.

When left tackle Jason Peters was hurt early in the Packers game last season, Barbre jumped in, and the line hardly missed a beat. This spring, he has been practicing at left guard with the second team behind Mathis.

For now, Barbre seems content with being the sixth man.

"You never know what's going to happen," he said. "Just that opportunity [to maybe start next season] in itself and being able to back up all four positions was big for me."


jmclane@phillynews.com

@Jeff_McLane

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