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Baltimore Sun

Barnes trade stuns former teammates

News that the Ravens had traded outside linebacker Antwan Barnes to the Philadelphia Eagles for an undisclosed draft pick in 2011 not only stunned fans, but also took a few of his now former teammates by surprise.

"It was a shock to all of us," outside linebacker Prescott Burgess said Monday. "Antwan Barnes is a great pass rusher and a great player. But it's a business. I don't what happened upstairs or the reason why they traded him. We've got a whole lot of linebackers with me, Jason Phillips, Edgar Jones."

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Added Jones, also an outside linebacker: "I was surprised. I've known Barnes going on four years now. It was just bigger than football. I got a chance to hang out with him and his daughter, and they got a chance to play with my daughter. So he was more like a brother."

Billed as a potential successor to three-time Pro Bowler Terrell Suggs when he was selected in the third round of the 2007 draft, Barnes posted a career-best three sacks last season. But he was also a healthy scratch five times in a six-game stretch after his failed tackle contributed to Cincinnati Bengals running back Cedric Benson's 28-yard touchdown run on Oct. 11.

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Barnes' departure opened the door for both Burgess and Jones to grab spots on the team's 53-man active roster – a development both players acknowledged.

"If anything, we might have been the ones to get cut," Burgess said. "They decided, I guess, that we all played well enough to stay with this team, and they kept three out of four of us. We've just got to roll with that. You never know. It's never too late [to change the roster]. I learned that last year. But I'm just going to do what I've been doing, playing on special teams and backing up Jarret Johnson whenever he needs me to come in for me."

"When it happened, I was really surprised," Jones said. "It's a great opportunity for Barnes, but now I've got to step up and keep working hard and get better every day."


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