After six games and 130 snaps, Michael Bennett’s stay in Foxborough has ended.
The New England Patriots traded the veteran defensive lineman to the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday night in exchange for a conditional 2021 seventh-round pick that could become a sixth-rounder, league sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Jordan Schultz.
Bennett, a three-time Pro Bowler with 65.5 sacks and 10 forced fumbles in his career, had been reinstated by New England on Monday. A “philosophical disagreement” with position coach Bret Bielema previously led to a one-week suspension for conduct detrimental to the team.
The percentage of plays involving the 33-year-old Bennett reduced in each of his appearances, dropping down to 11 plays in a decisive win over the New York Giants on Oct. 10.
His lone start came in the season opener.
“I mean, it’s America. You can voice your opinion about how you feel about certain situations. That’s what I did,” Bennett told reporters in New England’s locker room Wednesday. “... I got suspended, lost money. What am I supposed to take away from that? I mean, it’s no love lost. It’s just how it is.”
Bennett recorded five tackles and 2.5 sacks with the Patriots after arriving from the Philadelphia Eagles in a swap of 2020 fifth- and seventh-round selections back in March. A contract restructure followed for the 4-3 defensive end. As did a restructured role.
And his departure, according to Miguel Benzan of the Boston Sports Journal, now opens north of $2.6 million in cap room as the trade deadline draws closer.
The Patriots will host Bennett and the Cowboys Nov. 24 at Gillette Stadium.