The New England Patriots have struck a deal with the Phildelphia Eagles for 33-year-old defensive end Michael Bennett according to multiple reports. On the surface, this is a home run deal for the Patriots and Bill Belichick. Even at an older age, Bennett has inside and outside versatility as a pass rusher and was 4th in the league in QB hits last season with 30. Add to that the reported deal for Bennett, and the Pats are getting a good player to add to bolster their pass rush for what amounts to a swap of a 5th for a 7th rounder in next year’s draft.
Bennett has two years left on his deal at $6M base, $1M per game roster bonuses in ’19 & $7.5M base in ’20 with another $1M in per-game roster bonuses. Philly was obviously trying to move money and clear cap space, and with their already stacked defensive line, Bennett was the odd man out. He has 63 sacks over his 10-year career including 9 last year. Trey Flowers is likely on his way out of New England with him set to hit the free agent market, and we all know some team out there will throw a ton of money at the defensive end. Bennett can fill that role at a much lesser price tag, although if you add Bennett to Flowers, then you have yourself a whale of a D-line just with those two.
Bennett has had a couple issues in the past that has caused many to question his character including an incident where he allegedly injured a 66-year-old female security staffer at NRG Stadium. There was also an incident in Las Vegas after a skirmish at a nightclub where he alleged the LVPD racially profiled him during the incident. He’s a very outspoken individual, much like his brother Martellus who also had issues and “baggage” coming in, but like then, Belichick was comfortable enough to make the move and it panned out. A result he’s hoping repeats itself with the other Bennett brother.
I like the Michael Bennett trade for the Patriots and the former Super Bowl Champion with the Seattle Seahawks still has some fire and productivity in his belly to help the Patriots repeat as champions. Bennett has also played under new Patriots defensive coordinator Greg Schiano when he was the head coach of the Bucaneers.