Eagles’ Bennett Surrenders in Houston
(973espn.com) - Eagles defensive end Michael Bennett did turn himself in on Monday as expected.
Bennett was indicted Friday by a Houston grand jury Friday on a felony charge of injury of the elderly.
The 32-year-old, three-time Pro Bowl selection appeared in Harris County, Texas courtroom, along with other defendants waiting to be called.
Eventually, Bennett, with famed defense attorney Rusty Hardin at his side, had a brief conversation with the judge, who set bail at $10,000 and approved of Bennett being able to travel back to his home in Hawaii.
Presumably, that also means Bennett would be available to travel for offseason work with the Eagles as the legal process plays out.
Bennett is accused of injuring the shoulder of a 66-year-old paraplegic woman working for NRG Stadium security at Super Bowl LI while trying to force his way onto the field after the game. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine if convicted.
Speaking at the annual NFL meetings in Orlando, Eagles executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman claimed the Eagles were unaware Bennett was under investigation when trading for him at the beginning of the league year earlier this month. Roseman also essentially cleared Seattle general manager John Schneider for any wrongdoing in the transaction.
“I want to be clear. There’s probably not a person — and I’m going to put him on the same ground as a bunch of people — that we trust more than John Schneider and the Seahawks," Roseman said. "There’s nothing that we feel like they did wrong or there’s any blame in this matter. It’s a unique circumstance and we’ll deal with it as we go.”
As far as Bennett himself, Roseman insisted on giving his new acquisition the benefit of the doubt:
“I think we’re in a great country and in this country, people are presumed innocent,” Roseman said. “I think we have to be fair about that in all these matters. I don’t think it’s fair in any situation to not give people the right to present their side. I don’t want to get into this, but our overriding philosophy on things is people are innocent until proven guilty.”
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen