Patriots' Michael Bennett Suspended 1 Week for Conduct Detrimental to the Team

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistOctober 15, 2019

New England Patriots defensive end Michael Bennett warms up before an NFL football game against the New York Giants, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Elise Amendola/Associated Press

The New England Patriots suspended defensive end Michael Bennett for one week for conduct detrimental to the team, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport and Michael Giardi.

Bennett addressed the situation with ESPN's Jordan Schultz: "On Friday, I had a philosophical disagreement with my position coach that has led to my suspension. I apologize to my teammates for any distraction this may have caused."

WEEI's Ryan Hannable noted Bennett wasn't at practice Tuesday, which raised eyebrows when coupled with the limited role he has played in New England this season.

The percentage of Bennett's snaps has declined over each of the last five weeks. According to Pro Football Reference, the 33-year-old had 37 defensive snaps (55 percent) in the Patriots' Week 1 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. That number was just 11 (22 percent) last Thursday when New England beat the New York Giants.

After acquiring him from the Philadelphia Eagles, the Patriots renegotiated Bennett's contract so he can earn $16.75 million over this year and next.

That will make it harder for New England to cut him in the middle of the 2019 season, and his production (2.5 sacks) gives the team a compelling reason to hash out any differences. The Patriots are second in adjusted sack rate, per Football Outsiders, and Bennett is one reason for that success.

As things stand, he'll miss Monday's game against the New York Jets, who earned their first win in Week 6 against the Dallas Cowboys.

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