Not long after Michael Bennett said he wanted a pay raise from the Philadelphia Eagles, the Eagles were shipping him off.
Bennett, the talented defensive lineman who has made three Pro Bowls in his 10 NFL seasons with the Buccaneers, Seahawks and Eagles, will next be playing with the New England Patriots if a deal reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter gets finalized (we can never be too sure with NFL trades nowadays). Bennett will come cheap; Schefter said the deal would be the Patriots sending their 2020 fifth-round pick to Philadelphia for a 2020 seventh-round pick and Bennett.
Martellus wants to join Patriots too?
Schefter also reports that Michael’s brother Martellus Bennett wants to come out of retirement to rejoin the Patriots, whom he won a Super Bowl with after the 2016 season. Schefter notes that the two have “always wanted to play together.”
The one-time Pro Bowl tight end appeared intrigued by the news of the reported deal for his brother on Twitter.
— Martellus Bennett (@MartysaurusRex) March 8, 2019
There is no word if the Patriots are interested in this idea.
What Michael Bennett would mean for Patriots
For the Patriots, who have three key defensive linemen set to hit free agency next week, the acquisition of Michael is a way to restock. We’ll see what they do about Bennett’s request to get a pay raise.
Michael Bennett wouldn’t take a pay cut
Bennett chatted with NFL Network on Friday before the trade. The Eagles had been shopping him since re-signing defensive end Brandon Graham before Graham hit free agency, according to Jeff McLane of Philly.com.
“I think we’re in a tough situation as far as the salary cap and I’m not willing to take a pay cut,” Bennett said, via McLane. “I actually want a pay raise at this point. So whatever happens, just to know whatever team I go to I want to get paid more than what I’m getting paid right now.”
It’s not the first time Bennett has voiced displeasure with his contract. That was a regular theme as he was becoming a star with the Seahawks.
The Patriots presumably knew what Bennett said when they worked on the trade for him. They might lose defensive end Trey Flowers, a coveted free agent, and defensive tackles Danny Shelton and Malcom Brown are also set to become free agents. Bennett fits the Patriots very well, considering he is very versatile, playing all along the line and doing it well. Bennett played well against the Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX and his brother, Martellus, played with New England before. The Patriots are quite familiar with him.
Maybe he’ll get that pay raise, after all.
Bennett will turn 34 this season
Bennett isn’t a long-term answer for the Patriots. He’ll turn 34 during this season. It still seems like a smart addition for New England, which has an uncanny sense of when they can get another valuable year or two out of a veteran who is nearing the end.
Bennett ended up spending just one year with the Eagles. Philadelphia acquired him in a trade with Seattle, and he had nine sacks in 16 games. He was due a $6.2 million base salary this season.
Bennett will be an entertaining figure in New England. Judging by the Patriots’ track record with veterans, he’ll probably be a productive one too.
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