After bypassing an offensive lineman in last month’s draft, the Eagles decided to make sure at least one of their key reserves has the potential to be on the roster beyond this season.
The team extended the contract of veteran Allen Barbre for three more years, through 2017. Barbre, a journeyman who signed with the Eagles last offseason after stints with three other NFL teams, is a swing lineman who played left tackle last season but is currently practicing at left guard in OTAs.
Barbre’s contract was set to expire at the end of this season.
“Allen has great versatility and his ability to play both outside and inside on the offensive line makes him so valuable to what we do,” Eagles head coach Chip Kelly said in a statement released by the team. “He’s been in this league for a number of years and we know we can count on him to step up and fill in whenever he is called upon.
“When Jason Peters went down in Green Bay last season, Allen jumped right in and our offense didn’t miss a beat.”
Barbre played 86 offensive snaps last year, or 7.8 percent of all offensive snaps. The Eagles have decent depth at offensive tackle, with second-year pro Matt Tobin and third-year veteran Dennis Kelly, but aren’t stocked on the inside, which is probably why Barbre is getting most of his OTA reps at guard.
Behind starters Evan Mathis and Todd Herremans, each of whom are over 30, are the 29-year-old Barbre along with Michael Bamiro and some rookie free agents. Bamiro signed last year as a tackle out of Stony Brook and spent the season on the practice squad.
Barbre has the most experience among the backups, with 47 games and seven starts under his belt. He wa a fourth-round pick of the Packers in 2007 and also played for the Dolphins (2010) and Seahawks (2010-2012).
In 2010, the NFL suspended Barbre for the first four games of the season for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.