Well, I can’t say I saw this one coming. Earlier today its was confirmed that the Eagles and Seahawks have a deal in place to send Pro Bowl defensive end, Michael Bennett, to Philly once the new league year starts next week. The deal includes Bennett and a 7th round pick in exchange for the Eagles’ 5th round pick and wide receiver Marcus Johnson.
This was yet another great move from GM Howie Roseman. Not only did he acquire a defensive end who’s made the Pro Bowl each of the last three years, he got him for virtually nothing. Howie has hammered down the notion that him and the front office are still trying to make this team better, and that’s exactly what they did with this move. Bennett is an immediate upgrade at defensive end over Vinny Curry. Although Curry did play adequately this season (42 total tackles, 3 sacks and 1 forced fumble), his play doesn’t warrant his cap hit for this upcoming season. He’s set to make $11 million in 2018. That’s just about $3 million more than Bennett will cost – he’s set to make $8.3 million. Bennett is a polished pass rusher, and he will provide more balance to an already scary front-7. Curry was primarily utilized during running situations. He was usually replaced by either Chris Long or rookie Derek Barnett on passing downs. Jim Schwartz won’t have to do that with Bennett, as he’s proven he can be productive against both the run and the pass. In 2017, Bennett accumulated 40 total tackles, 8.5 sack along with 1 pass deflection. I’m sure Schwartz is drooling over the potential packages he can put together now with Bennett in the mix. This was a win-win move for the Eagles. They acquired a Pro Bowler for essentially nothing; he’s going to be an upgrade over Curry, and he’s going to cost less than Curry.
This move clearly proves that Howie is thinking repeat. He realizes the window for another championship is slim and that he needs to take advantage of it now. I think this is going to be the first of many moves for the Eagles this offseason. As we speak, they’re about $18 million over the cap – by far the worst of any NFL team. They’re going to need to get under the cap by the time the new league year starts on March 14th, so expect similar moves like this to surface in the coming days.