Barner trade says alot of Whittaker, Reaves

August, 19, 2014
Aug 19
11:15
PM ET
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- That the Carolina Panthers traded running back Kenjon Barner to the Philadelphia Eagles for a conditional seventh-round draft pick in 2015 shouldn't come as a surprise.

Barner
Barner's spot on the roster was shaky at best after the performances of Fozzy Whittaker and Darrin Reaves in the first two preseason games.

Whittaker, who originally signed with the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted rookie in 2012, rushed for 71 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries in Sunday night's 28-16 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. He also caught one pass for 22 yards.

Reaves, an undrafted rookie, rushed for 19 yards and a touchdown in the exhibition opener against Buffalo.

With the top three backs set in DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert, only one or two spots were open at that position.

Whittaker and Reaves showed a tough, physical running style that the Panthers look for in their ball control offense. Barner didn't. He had 1 yard on eight carries in the opener and 18 yards on seven carries in the second game.

A sixth-round pick out of Oregon, where he played for current Eagles coach Chip Kelly, in 2013, he also struggled in pass protection.

Barner was competing as a kickoff and punt returner as well. But the Panthers want to give undrafted rookie wide receiver Philly Brown a hard look as the punt returner and there are others equally capable of returning kickoffs.

Getting a seventh-round pick was a bargain since Barner likely wouldn't have made the 53-man roster.

David Newton | email

ESPN Carolina Panthers reporter

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