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Eagles Trade Rumors: Michael Bennett on Block; DE Could Be Released

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 8, 2019

LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 30: Michael Bennett #77 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks on against the Washington Redskins during the second half at FedExField on December 30, 2018 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Eagles are reportedly planning to part ways with defensive end Michael Bennett.

According to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Eagles have discussed trading Bennett with other teams, and they are expected to release him if a deal does not materialize.

Last season marked the 33-year-old Bennett's first campaign with the Eagles, and he finished with nine sacks, which ranked second on the team to defensive tackle Fletcher Cox's 10.5.

Philadelphia acquired Bennett in a trade last offseason that sent a fifth-round pick and wide receiver Marcus Johnson to the Seattle Seahawks. That deal ended up being a win for the Eagles since Johnson didn't even make the Seahawks' roster.

Meanwhile, the Eagles reached the playoffs for the second straight season after winning the Super Bowl the previous year. They beat the Chicago Bears in the NFC Wild Card Round only to fall to the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Divisional Round.

Bennett appeared in all 16 regular-season games for the Eagles last season and made 10 starts. His nine sacks were tied for the second-highest total of his career behind the 10 sacks he registered with the Seahawks in 2015.

He was a hugely important part of Philadelphia's pass-rush last season due, in part, to Derek Barnett missing 10 games with an injury.

Since Barnett is set to come back next season and the Eagles re-signed Brandon Graham, Bennett has become expendable. That is especially true since Chris Long can serve in the role of veteran situational pass-rusher rather than Bennett.

Also, McLane noted that Bennett does not want to come off the bench. Additionally, he appeared Friday on NFL Network and said that he has no desire to take a pay cut: "I'm not willing to take a pay cut. I actually want a pay raise at this point, and so just to know that whatever team I go to, I want to be paid more than I'm getting paid now."

Bennett is signed through 2020 and is set to make $7.2 next season and $8 million in 2020. If the Eagles are unable to trade him, it is likely due to teams not wanting to make a long-term investment in a 33-year-old defensive end.

Although Bennett has never been a dominant pass-rusher, he has long been a productive one. In 10 NFL seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Seahawks and Eagles, Bennett has racked up 336 tackles, 63 sacks and 13 forced fumbles.

He is also a three-time Pro Bowler and one-time Super Bowl champion, all of which occurred in Seattle.

While Bennett may no longer be a fit in Philadelphia, there figures to be a market for him either via trade or free agency since he has a strong resume and continues to produce even after a decade in the NFL.

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