Before NFL free agency officially got underway, Eagles defensive end Michael Bennett had mentioned that he wasn’t willing to take a pay cut, and in fact, wanted a pay raise for the upcoming season. Shortly afterward, he was traded to the Patriots, who have since given the 33-year-old veteran what he was asking for.
Sources: the Patriots and DE Michael Bennett have agreed to a reworked two-year deal with a base value of $16.75M, including a $4M signing bonus. Bennett gets guaranteed money and more upside, while the move creates $700K in cap space for the team in 2019.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) April 2, 2019
As NFL Insider Adam Schefter pointed out, it isn’t often that the Patriots not only add money to a contract, but also add more in guarantees. Bennett’s performance certainly earned the additional paycheck, but it would have cost the Eagles even more to keep him happy.
BGN’s Brandon Gowton explained how Bennett’s production will certainly be missed:
His numbers from last season:
“Regular season stats: 716 snaps, 34 tackles, 9 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 20 QB hits, 37 QB hurries, 1 pass deflection
Playoff stats: 115 snaps, 5 tackles, 1 sack, 2 QB hits, 7 QB hurries”
For more perspective:
“He finished second on the Eagles in sacks last year with nine. Bennett also ranked 21st out of 109 edge defenders in PFF’s pressure rate. He had the second most quarterback hits in the NFL.”
In addition to young talent Philadelphia has on their defensive line (Derek Barnett and Josh Sweat), the Eagles also re-signed Brandon Graham to a new deal, added Malik Jackson and brought back Vinny Curry to fill in some of the open spots. There’s still no word whether Chris Long will opt to return, and the reigning Walter Payton Man of the Year is expected to wait until after the draft to make his decision.