Michael Bennett Comments Complicate Potential Trade
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - If Michael Bennett is really on the trading block, the veteran defensive end likely made a potential deal more complicated after his appearance on the NFL Network Friday morning.
Bennett was asked about the rumor he was being shopped at the recent NFL combine and the eclectic former Pro Bowl selection simply chalked it up to the business of football but also indicated he's looking out for No. 1.
"I don’t know what’s happening with the Eagles," Bennett said on "Good Morning Football." "Of course you always want to be with the team that you played with. But at the same time, I know it’s a business and you want to be able to make money whenever you get the opportunities to.
"I feel like if you’re on the trading block, it’s part of the game. But I still know that I”m one of the best players in the NFL ... you understand that people want to acquire your services. [The Eagles] in a tough situation as far as the salary cap, I’m not willing to take a pay cut. I actually want a pay raise at this point. I just know at this point whatever team I go to I want to get paid more than I am now."
The money demands certainly complicate any trade discussions for a player that while still very productive will turn 34 in November.
Bennett is scheduled to count $7.2 million against the cap for the Eagles. From a football perspective moving or releasing him not make sense because Bennett, who was acquired from Seattle at the bargain-basement price of a fifth-round pick, ended up being in the conversation with Brandon Graham as the team's best defensive linemen after Fletcher Cox last season, finishing with nine sacks.
The Eagles, though, already have Graham, Derek Barnett and Chris Long under contract for next season and Bennett was unhappy with his playing time a year ago until Barnett exited the lineup and the Eagles were forced to increase Bennett's reps.
Barnett, the team's first-round pick in 2017, is penciled in to start at right end with Graham on the left side.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen