Barton, Eric

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Eric Barton
Eric Barton is a linebacker for the New York Jets.

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Background and college

Born September 29, 1977 in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Barton attended Edison High School in Alexandria, Virginia. where he earned All-American honors from National Recruiting Advisor and All-Atlantic Coast recognition from Blue Chip Illustrated Magazine and was rated 10th-best football player in Virginia by Super Prep Magazine as senior. Barton then went to the University of Maryland, where he was the only true freshman to play in 1995, posting 18 tackles. Barton ended up recording over 100 tackles in his career at Maryland, which helped land him fourth all-time on Terps’ career tackles list, and was a first-team All-ACC selection as senior who led the conference in total tackles (159) and average tackles per game (14.5).

NFL Career

Before the Jets

Barton was taken by Oakland in the fifth round (146th overall) of the 1999 NFL Draft. He had a sack on the first play of his first start. Barton spent five seasons with the Raiders, making it to Super Bowl XXXVII, where he started and had 13 tackles, in a losing effort to Tampa Bay.

As a Jet

Barton signed with Jets as an unrestricted free agent in March 2004. He had over 100 tackles, with 2.5 sacks, with an interception and 4 recovered fumbles in his first season with the Jets, but had a moment of total boneheadedness in the 2004 Wild Card game against the San Diego Chargers.

Barton nails Brees
The Jets were up by 17-10 with 16 seconds left in regulation, and the Chargers faced fourth-and-goal from the 2. San Diego quarterback Drew Brees dropped back and, under pressure, lofted a desperation pass into the end zone, where it was batted incomplete. It briefly appeared that the Jets would be able to run out the clock and win the game. But Barton was flagged for delivering a forearm to Brees's head as he took him to the ground. Jets fans immediately thought of Mark Gastineau's hit on Bernie Kosar in a 1986 playoff game against Cleveland, especially after the Chargers were able to tie it up and send the game into overtime, but thankfully after Nate Kaeding's miss, Doug Brien won the game.

"It was a dumb play," Barton said in the locker room after the game.

2005 turned out to be an injury shortened season, with Barton being placed on injured reserve in October. 2006 brought another 100 tackle season (second on the team), and two sacks.Barton has played in all 10 games so far in the 2007 season.

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