UPDATED STORY - Field Yates issued a correction.
Correcting this from earlier: the only adjustment to Bennett's contract is that the date of his roster bonus being due has been pushed back. His cap number was always at $7.375M. A procedural move more than anything. No cap impact. Apologies for the confusion. https://t.co/dwfDNHRGvp— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 14, 2018
To reiterate: no changes have been made to the Eagles’ cap situation with regards to Michael Bennett.
Original story below.
Lane Johnson isn’t the only Eagles player to have their contract restructured this week. NFL insider Field Yates reports Michael Bennett and Philadelphia have agreed to alter the terms of the veteran pass rusher’s deal as well.
Source: in advance of his trade to the Eagles, DE Michael Bennett has agreed to a restructured contract. He receives a $1.725M signing bonus, with $4M in 2018 available via incentives. His cap number for 2018 rises (for now) to $7.375 from $5.65M.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 14, 2018
Unlike with Johnson, this restructure doesn’t free up immediate cap space. Instead, it does the exact opposite.
Why did the Eagles decide to lose more space when they were already tight up against the cap? Well, I don’t know. #Analysis.
Neither does cap expert Sam Lynch:
I’m not sure what this is. It looks like a potential raise for Bennett. Not sure why they would do that. Also the “signing bonus” must be a roster bonus for the cap math to work. https://t.co/pZSGFIS87h— Sam Lynch (@shlynch) March 14, 2018
I’m not sure why the Eagles felt the need to give Bennett a potential raise before ever playing a single snap for the team.
And it’s not like the Eagles needed to restructure Bennett to make him easier to cut in the future. He already didn’t have any guaranteed money in his contract beyond this year.
Howie Roseman and Jake Rosenberg obviously do a great job with the Eagles’ cap, so it’s not like I’m trying to say this Bennett restructure is some kind of terrible move. I just don’t really get it.
My best guess is that the $4 million has something to do with Likely To Be Earned (LTBE) incentives. Those count against the cap. If Bennett doesn’t reach those incentives in 2018, however, the Eagles would get a 2019 credit for whatever he doesn’t reach.
The only thing about that is the Eagles need cap space now. They could deal with Bennett’s contract next year. They didn’t have to do it right now.
Stay tuned for more clarity on this situation, if it ever arrives.