Eagles acquire RB Kenjon Barner

Updated: August 20, 2014, 1:59 AM ET
By Phil Sheridan | ESPN.com

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Eagles acquired running back/return man Kenjon Barner Tuesday night in a trade with the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers received a conditional seventh-round pick in next year's NFL draft.

Barner, 25, played for Eagles coach Chip Kelly at the University of Oregon. He was drafted by the Panthers in the sixth round of last year's draft. Barner played in eight regular-season games and a playoff game with the Panthers last season.

The 5-foot-9, 185-pound Barner will compete with Darren Sproles, who was acquired in a trade with the New Orleans Saints earlier this year.

"Kenjon will hopefully bring some depth to both our running back and return positions," Kelly said in a statement released by the Eagles. "He's obviously a guy I know really well from Oregon, where he had a very productive career. He has a lot of speed, explosiveness and had a knack for making some really big plays. But our plan with him right now is get him in Philadelphia as soon as we can and plug him in at running back and returner and let him compete."

LeSean McCoy, who led the NFL in rushing yards last season, and Sproles are locks to make the Eagles' roster. The competition behind them has been complicated by injuries. Chris Polk (hamstring), Matthew Tucker (hamstring) and David Fluellen (calf) all missed Friday's preseason game against the New England Patriots.

The Eagles used wide receiver Damaris Johnson at running back against the Patriots. Johnson also returns kicks.

It would be surprising if the Eagles kept more than three running backs on their 53-man roster.

Barner, 25, will get a chance to be the third back, with his special teams prowess a major consideration. Barner finished his college career ranked second in Oregon history with 3,623 rushing yards and tied for second with 41 rushing touchdowns. He averaged 22.5 yards on kickoff returns and 10.1 yards on punt returns. He scored one touchdown in each return job.

Phil Sheridan

ESPN Philadelphia Eagles reporter

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