Trade alert! The Seahawks are sending defensive end Michael Bennett and a seventh-round pick to the Eagles for a fifth-round pick and wide receiver Marcus Johnson, sources tell ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (Facebook link). Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (on Twitter) first reported that Bennett was Philadelphia-bound.
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Bennett has been the subject of trade speculation for months now and the Falcons were among the teams to express interest in acquiring him recently. The return for him may seem underwhelming given his ability, but his market was suppressed by his contract, which still has three seasons and $26MM left.
The Seahawks’ loss is now the Eagles’ gain. Bennett didn’t have his best season in 2017, but he did earn a third Pro Bowl nod as he registered 8.5 sacks. His inside pass rush ability helped to propel Seattle to the Super Bowl in back-to-back seasons and he’ll look to do more of the same for the defending champs. The Eagles project to start a defensive line of Bennett, Cox, Derek Barnett, and Brandon Graham, and that’s as good of a D-Line as you’ll find in the NFL.
After acquiring Bennett, the Eagles may explore a potential trade of defensive end Vinny Curry, Schefter tweets. The Eagles like Curry, but his cap number for 2018 is a bit too pricey given their limited amount of room.
The Bennett deal opens up roughly $2.2MM in cap space for the Seahawks, though they’re still saddled with about $5.2MM in dead money. The trade also helped Seattle escape the $3MM bonus he was due later this month and freed them of the future seasons left on his deal. The Eagles now assume that contract, which has Bennett under control through the 2020 season.
Meanwhile, the Seahawks gain an insurance policy in the event that Paul Richardson leaves in free agency. Given the buzz surrounding him, it’s very possible that they’ll lose him on the open market. Enter Johnson, who has posted a 40-yard-dash time of 4.36 seconds in the past. He doesn’t have a stat line that comes close to Richardson (he had just five grabs for 45 yards last season), but his speed could allow him to fill a similar role in Seattle.
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