With only one week before the start of the NFL's 2018 free agency period, things are slowly starting to heat up around the league. The latest transaction sees the Seattle Seahawks trading interior defensive lineman Michael Bennett and a seventh-round draft choice to the Philadelphia Eagles in return for a fifth-round selection and developmental wide receiver Marcus Johnson.
While Bennett is 32 years old and will hit the Eagles' books with $5.65 million in 2018 as well as $7.0 and $8.5 million the two following seasons, there is no denying he is still one of the better interior pass rushers in the NFL. It is therefore no surprise to find out that the New England Patriots were also in the running for his services (according to ESPN's Diana Russini):
There were a bunch of teams in the running for Michael Bennett. New England, Cleveland, Tampa, and Falcons to just name a few.
Considering that the Eagles got Bennett for the relatively modest price of a two-round drop on the third day of the draft and a backup player, one is left to wonder what New England was willing to offer the Seahawks – or if the team ever seriously considered trading for the veteran in the first place. New England could just have done its due diligence by inquiring about the defensive tackle.
Whatever the circumstances of the Patriots “being in the running” for Bennett may be, Russini's report is more evidence that the team is looking to upgrade its interior defensive line – a unit that was inconsistent especially against the pass in 2017.
[UPDATE 03/07, 5:06 pm] Reportedly, the Patriots offered the Seahawks a third round draft pick for Bennett and a fifth rounder. Seattle, however, moved the veteran within the conference to Philadelphia because the deal was already done.