Bringing back Derek Barnett was the absolute right move

The Houston Texans have brought back Derek Barnett, which was the absolute right move.

AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Cleveland Browns v Houston Texans
AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Cleveland Browns v Houston Texans / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

The Houston Texans made a bold move during the season to pick up Derek Barnett, the former Philadelphia Eagles defensive end. Barnett never lived up to his lofty potential after the Eagles made him a first-round selection in 2017. He peaked in 2019, recording 6.5 sacks, and 30 tackles, but he was never consistent enough to warrant keeping around, despite being a key piece of the team's Super Bowl run.

After he got cut during the season, the Texans picked him up, giving him a second opportunity, He improved greatly in Houston, where he became one of the better run-stoppers on the team, and recorded 19 tackles and two sacks in just six games.

His Pro Football Focus score helps paint the picture of how good Barnett was in Houston compared to where he was in Philadelphia. With the Eagles, he had a 59.3 defensive rating. His run defense was just 62.0 and his pass rush was just 53.3.

In Houston, his PFF score jumped to 90.5 overall, with an 83.8 score against the run and an 84.3 score rushing the passer. His figures leapt incredibly and it's very likely that it was not only the improved players around him but also coaches who better understood what Barnett brought to the table and how best to utilize him.

With the Texans bringing in Denico Autry to hopefully play defensive tackle, and the acquisition of Danielle Hunter, it's unlikely that the Texans will turn to Barnett full-time to play opposite of Will Anderson, but having him on the roster will provide depth at the position. Plus, Barnett is a bigger body, so he could likely play on the interior on passing downs. So while Barnett isn't a starter right now, having someone who can add depth to the defensive line on a level of most starters is a luxury that most teams don't have.

Re-signing Barnett was the right call and was one of the more important off-season moves that will likely go under the radar for a while.