One Bennett brother already passed through New England. Now, the Patriots reportedly are trading for the other.
The Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles are finalizing a deal that would send veteran defensive end Michael Bennett to New England, according to multiple reports Friday afternoon.
Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer was the first to report news of the impending deal. He also shared the expected terms:
The trade cannot be finalized until the NFL league year opens next Wednesday.
Long considered one of the NFL’s top pass rushers, Bennett tallied nine sacks, 15 tackles for loss and 30 quarterback hits in his lone season in Philadelphia. The 33-year-old is set to earn $7.2 million in 2019, and he made clear earlier Friday he was not interested in taking a pay cut.
“I still know that I’m one of the best players in the NFL,” Bennett said during an appearance on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football.” “You look at statistically last year — quarterback hits, TFLs — and with how I approach the game, I love football. And whatever team I’m on, I’m going to take that same attitude and go out there and be a nasty player and try to dominate on the defensive line and be the best teammate and the best player that I can possibly be.”
He added: “I actually want a pay raise at this point, and so whatever happens, just to know that whatever team I go to, I want to get paid more than I get paid right now.”
Before being traded to the Eagles last spring, Bennett spent five seasons with the Seattle Seahawks and four with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2009. While in Tampa, Bennett played one season under Greg Schiano, who reportedly will take over as the Patriots’ defensive coordinator this season.
Bennett earned Pro Bowl honors in each of his final three seasons in Seattle. His younger brother, Martellus, played tight end for the Patriots in 2016 and 2017.
With Trey Flowers set to become the best edge rusher available in free agency and the chances of him re-signing uncertain, edge rusher was a major need for the Patriots entering this offseason.
New England adds Bennett to a depth chart that now features Adrian Clayborn, Deatrich Wise, Derek Rivers, Keionta Davis, Ufomba Kamalu and Trent Harris. Flowers and John Simon are impending free agents, and Clayborn, who was a healthy scratch late in his first season with the Patriots, could be released to free up salary cap space.
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