Michael Bennett Trade Analysis for New England Patriots


BOSTON (WEEI.com) -- The New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles were finalizing a deal Friday that would send defensive end Michael Bennett and a 2020 seventh-rounder to the Patriots in exchange for a 2020 fifth-round pick, according to multiple reports.

Michael is the brother of former Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett, who won a Super Bowl with the team following the 2016 season. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Martellus is interested in coming out of retirement to join his brother in New England.

The trade for Michael Bennett seems like a no-brainer for the Patriots. Even if Bennett doesn't work out, the Patriots did not surrender much in picks (the Patriots consistently trade out of the fifth round of the draft).

Bennett, 33, just finished his 10th year in the league. He spent his first four with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the next five with the Seattle Seahawks then last year in Philadelphia. He was second on the Eagles in sacks with nine, tied for the second-highest total of his career (he had 10 in 2015). Bennett made the Pro Bowl three straight years from 2015-2017. He's not the impact player he once was, but certainly can be a solid role player who can get after the passer.

His cap number is $7.2 million for 2019 and jumps up to $8 million in 2020.

It is premature to suggest this means the Patriots know they won't be able to keep free-agent defensive end Trey Flowers. More likely this move was done to offset the loss of Adrian Clayborn. Bennett and Flowers are completely different players, and if Flowers moves on, the Patriots will need a lot more than just Bennett to replace him.

One other noteworthy wrinkle: new Patriots defensive coach Greg Schiano coached Bennett in Tampa during the 2012 season. Bennett apparently wasn't a fan, even referring to him as a "stiff" during a 2015 radio interview.

Adding Martellus Bennett, 32, as well would make some sense for the Patriots, who need help at tight end even if Rob Gronkowski returns. Bennett seemed to have a good relationship with both Tom Brady and Bill Belichick during his time with the organization. The Bennetts would join the McCourtys, Gronkowskis and Hollisters as brothers to play for the Patriots in recent years.