Philadelphia Eagles executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman met with reporters for about 15 minutes at the NFL owners meeting in Orlando on Monday afternoon.
Roseman touched on a number of topics, which we’ll address in a separate post here on Bleeding Green Nation, but for now I just wanted to relay his comments about the ongoing Michael Bennett situation.
Q: How are you gathering more information?
ROSEMAN: Yeah, when we bring a player to Philadelphia, we do a lot of background on that player. We feel like we have the best security director in the National Football League. We’ve talked about Dom DiSandro a lot. We also speak to our players. We speak to people who are with this person. We do a lot of background on people. So, for us, fit is very important. Because obviously fit is a big reason why we won last year. We’re not doing anything where we’re doing it nonchalant. In terms of the information, we’re continuing to gather information as we get it. I think that more information will continue to come. Obviously there was a change in his representation over the last 48 hours. I don’t want to talk about an ongoing legal matter but just kind of giving you some background about where we were and how we do the process when we bring people in.
Q: Were you surprised?
ROSEMAN: I would say we did not know about it before Friday.
Q: Is that something that would typically be disclosed before a deal if it was known?
ROSEMAN: Yeah, I want to be clear. There’s probably not a person, and I’m going to put him on the same ground as a bunch of people, that we trust more than [Seattle general manager] John Schneider and the Seahawks. So there is nothing that we felt like they did wrong, or there is any blame in this matter. It’s a unique circumstance and we’ll deal with it as we go.
Q: Have you talked to Michael Bennett?
ROSEMAN: Yes, we have talked to Michael. We’re obviously in constant communication with our players when they’re going through things.
Q: If you had known about it, would you have made the trade?
Had I known about what? I don’t know … I think we’re in a great country. In this country, people are presumed innocent. I think we have to be fair about that and I don’t think it’s fair in any situation to not give people the right to present their side. I don’t want to get into this, but our overriding philosophy is people are innocent until proven guilty.
Q: What did you find out in your background work about Bennett?
ROSEMAN: A lot of what we do, and this starts with Coach Pederson, is we give our players ownership. We talk to our players about players we’re going to bring it. Whether that’s Michael Bennett, whether that’s Mike Wallace. And so we did that with a lot of our players. Players who have played with him, players who have been around him, and what we found is he’s a good teammate. They like playing with him. Some of our players have been with him in the Pro Bowl. Some of our players have trained with him. We rely on information like that. Obviously he came to our facility and we had a chance to sit down with him and talk to him. Again, we have great relationships with teams when we make trades. We’re very transparent about the players we trade to other teams, good and bad. It’s the same thing that goes on in this league. Because you’re talking about people — we’re dealing with these same teams. It’s not like we’re dealing with 150 different teams. We’re dealing with the same people over and over again. I think that’s one of the good things about the fraternity in the National Football League.
Q: Did you ask him why you didn’t learn about this until Friday?
ROSEMAN: Yeah, I don’t want to go into specific conservations with our players about anything. I think that’s an important part of our relationship.
Q: What was your reaction?
ROSEMAN: I don’t really remember my specific reaction to anything. I remember my reaction when we won the Super Bowl. The 13 seconds to go wasn’t a good look for me. I wish they showed me after the 13 seconds.
Q: Is there any kind of recourse in situations —
I’m done talking about the Michael Bennett situation at this time.
Some quick thoughts on Roseman’s comments:
- Roseman confirmed reports indicating the Eagles and the Seahawks didn’t know about the Bennett situation prior to the news being revealed on Friday.
- Roseman really wanted to illustrate they legitimately did their homework on him by detailing their background check process.
- Roseman’s comment about Bennett being innocent until proven guilty indicates they’re standing by him.
More coverage on Roseman’s non-Bennett comments and Bennett’s surrender to Houston police coming soon on BGN.