In order to better get to know the Eagles’ newest pass rusher, I thought it’d behoove BGN readers to get a Seattle Seahawks perspective on Bennett and the trade as a whole. In order to do that, I reached out to Kenneth Arthur of Field Gulls. Here’s what he had to offer.
1) How did Seahawks fans react to the news of the trade? How would you grade this trade for Seattle?
I think generally speaking, fans are ready for change. Not just with Micheal Bennett, but with various “old faces” on the team. These days, I think a lot of fans value the excitement of change over the traditions of holding onto a player for his entire career (not that Bennett had spent his entire career in Seattle, but that’s certainly where he became a star). So the news of his trade was met with more questions of “What did they get?” rather than “Why did they do that?” People want to get stuff, in my opinion, so they were more upset that the return was so underwhelming than they were that Bennett was leaving. Especially since the focus for so many was “get back your day two picks that you traded away.” I don’t think many are considering the production value lost by trading Bennett because he’s 32 and so much of his value is tied in pressures and run defense rather than sacks, which I think if he were a 12-15 sack type player, would make him a more “notable” loss to some.
I’d grade it as a ‘fair’ trade for Seattle because it seems they want to shake the locker room up before next season and not many teams were going to bite on a deal for a 32-year-old defensive end who probably would have been released anyway and comes with his own set of unique personality traits that not every franchise is willing to unite with. If they hadn’t given him an extension in 2016 and instead traded him last year, they would’ve done much better. They went for it all last season and failed, and the result is an underwhelming - but expectedly so - deal for a very good player.
2) This trade essentially ended up being Marcus Johnson and Matt Tobin to the Seahawks in exchange for Bennett. Why was he available for such a reasonable price?
I think I ended up outlining much of that in my first answer. He’s 32, he’s not cheap, he had a roster bonus coming -- Seattle wanted to move him as much as a team wanted to require him, as opposed to someone like Earl Thomas, who they are less inclined to trade but would be willing to listen to overwhelming offers.
3) What are Bennett’s strengths?
I don’t know the best way to outline his strengths, other than he’s a disruptive edge rusher who has a motor for going 900+ snaps a season and has remained relatively healthy, at least enough to miss only five games in the last six years. He’s an all-around solid defensive end.
4) How about his weaknesses?
His weakness comes with his false start penalties and penchant for jumping early, his somewhat disappointing lack of correlation between pressures and sacks (i.e., not finishing the job or getting there in time), and walking to the beat of his own drum, which probably was what annoyed coaches at times, if those reports are true. He’s got a temper that has had him in fights at the end of games the Seahawks lost, including the Super Bowl against the Patriots and last season against the Jags.
5) To what extent is his personality a concern? Will he be missed?
I don’t know. I think Bennett is quiet and honest. Both of those qualities have pros and cons. He’s the best interview in the NFL, probably, because he is so honest. That also pisses off some people. There are fans who hate Bennett more than any other player in the league, including Eagles fans, I’m sure. They call him a “liar” over his Las Vegas incident. But he’s also charitable, respectful, and kind. I don’t have any reason to think otherwise. He does more for the community and for people than most players and most people. You’re getting a good person, but that might not always mean you’re getting a perfect locker room presence. Or maybe you are; it’s not like the Seahawks have been bad over the last five years -- and Bennett was a huge reason for their success.
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