The Patriots have been lauded for how they tackled this year’s draft, but one NFL analyst believes New England started the offseason on a positive note by swinging an impactful trade.

ESPN published a piece Thursday looking at the NFL’s recent activity from several angles, through the lens of a panel of experts. One question floated around: What was the most underrated move of the offseason?

Matt Bowen pointed to the Patriots’ trade for Michael Bennett, a three-time Pro Bowl defensive end who spent last season with the Philadelphia Eagles after four seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers followed by five years with the Seattle Seahawks.

Here’s what Bowen wrote:

New England Patriots trade for defensive end Michael Bennett. The Patriots let DE Trey Flowers walk in free agency, but don’t discount the impact Bennett can have in Bill Belichick’s defense. With the ability to play on the edge or bump down inside, the Patriots can maximize Bennett’s pass-rush traits in multiple fronts and personnel packages.

The Patriots acquired Bennett, along with a 2020 seventh-round pick, from the Eagles back in March in exchange for a 2020 fifth-round selection. The 33-year-old subsequently reworked his contract with New England, securing a raise, and he’ll now be expected to play an important role for Belichick’s defense.

Bennett, who won a Super Bowl with the Seahawks, has racked up 63 sacks in his 10-year career, including nine last season and a career-high 10 with Seattle in 2015.

He should fit in just fine with New England, especially if he heeds the advice of his brother, Martellus, a former NFL tight end who played parts of two seasons with the Patriots in 2016 and 2017.

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