Anti-American protester Michael Bennett had a tumultuous season.
He disrespected the flag during the National Anthem, lied about a police altercation in Las Vegas, then started a brawl against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Now Bennett is dealing with something few people saw coming.
Bennett, who had been a key component of the Seattle Seahawks’ deep playoff runs, has been traded to the Super Bowl-champion Philadelphia Eagles.
The Seahawks appear to be in rebuild mode, and the organization is cutting ties with Bennett as he approaches the tail-end of his career.
From Bleacher Report:
After taking a hometown discount to stay in Seattle, defensive lineman Michael Bennett is headed to Philadelphia. The Eagles agreed to send a fifth-round pick and wide receiver Marcus Johnson to the Seahawks in exchange for Bennett and a seventh-round pick Wednesday.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the news.
Bennett, 32, played the last five seasons in Seattle, where he emerged as one of football’s best all-around defensive ends.
His departure from the Seahawks isn’t much of a surprise. He recorded 40 tackles and 8.5 sacks in 2017, a bounce-back year from his injury-plagued 2016. The Seahawks also only owed him $1.65 million in base salary for next season but were on the hook for a $4 million roster bonus, per Spotrac.
Given his ability to move inside and play defensive tackle, Bennett was arguably one of the best values in football. That will likely change soon, as the Eagles may be tasked with giving him a new deal. Rather than his production being above cost, it’ll now become the expectation going forward.
As it stands, the Super Bowl champs are getting one of the league’s best defensive ends while forcing Seattle to incur a steep expense. The Seahawks will essentially be paying a $5.2 million dead-cap charge for a fifth-round pick and a one-time undrafted free agent with five career catches to his name.
While Bennett is still productive, it’s likely the Seahawks were ready to break up their Super Bowl-winning team because of growing egos and resentment.
Safety Earl Thomas called out linebacker Bobby Wagner for hurting them because he was playing at far less than 100%. Wagner fired back on twitter, but ultimately deleted it.
Also, during the regrettable brawl with the Jaguars, Bennett might’ve actually defied head coach and general manager Pete Carroll.
From SB Nation:
In March, Bennett told reporters that “most of the NFL games are decided by one point u bless you’re playing the Jaguars or something. Then it’s decided by 50.”
That comment didn’t go unnoticed by the Jaguars, according to defensive end Yannick Ngakoue.
A fight broke out between the two teams when Sheldon Richardson bulldozed through the Jaguars offensive line on a kneel down and Michael Bennett rolled into the legs of offensive linemen.
Richardson was ejected from the game and the Seahawks picked up two personal fouls, while the Jaguars got one on Leonard fournette, who jumped into the fray.
Why did Bennett do that?
It’s hard to say. It could have just been frustration, but there’s also some precedent. A closer look reveals that Bennett may have been trying to swat the snap away in order to get the ball back to the Seahawks with a little time left on the clock. It’s a move that almost never works, and causes more trouble than it’s probably worth, as evidenced here.
Pete Carroll said that was the case a day later.
Carroll says again Bennett was trying to swipe the ball at snap. But he said Bennett has been told to not do it any longer to prevent incidents such as Sunday’s.
Bennett wasn’t saying much about it when asked after the game.
Michael Bennett, asked what happened at end, said “I don’t have to explain myself.
None of this behavior is becoming of a “Walter Payton Man of the Year” finalist. Nevertheless, Bennett is taking his sideshow to Philadelphia.
Hopefully the Eagles version of Bennett will show more respect for the flag and the sport of football.