The New England Patriots’ free agency was marked by a familiar theme: the club would not overspend on players and instead make every move with an eye on value as opposed to star power. As a result, the club let defensive standout Trey Flowers and starting left tackle Trent Brown leave to sign multi-million deals in Detroit and Oakland, respectively. New England, however, also added some talent through the open market — and via trade.
It is the latter, the trade that brought Philadelphia Eagles defensive edge Michael Bennett to New England, that was recently named the best acquisition of the offseason by ESPN. The self-proclaimed “world-wide leader in sports” asked a panel of eight writers to share their thoughts on the NFL with free agency slowly dying down, and senior analyst Mike Sando, named Bennett when asked about the best acquisition so far:
I liked the Patriots acquiring Bennett for their defensive line while knowing they would get a 2020 third-round compensatory choice for losing Trey Flowers. Bennett is 33 and could decline at any time, but the Patriots are getting short-term and long-term insurance without handing Flowers the $18 million-a-year deal Detroit gave him.
We already shared out thoughts on why trading for Bennett was a great move for the reigning world champions — New England gave up virtually nothing, added versatility to its defensive front, and insurance for the now-departed Trey Flowers — but an argument can certainly be made against the acquisition as the best of the offseason so far. Just look at ESPN’s other panelists, none agreeing with Sando.
The trade that brought Odell Beckham Jr. from the New York Giants to the Cleveland Browns received the most mentions with five — rightfully so, considering that Cleveland paid relatively little for a player of Beckham Jr’s caliber and team-friendly contract. The Oakland Raiders’ acquisition of Antonio Brown and the Baltimore Ravens’ signing of free agent Earl Thomas were the other two choices named.
Of course, one argument that speaks for the Bennett acquisition is the price: New England sent a fifth-rounder to Philadelphia in exchange for the veteran defender and a seventh-round selection, while also taking on a $7.0 million salary cap hit for the 33-year-old. Relative to his comparatively moderate cost, Bennett could very well turn out to be the highest-impact acquisition of the ones named. It would be a classic Patriots result.
Is Michael Bennett the best acquisition of the NFL offseason?
This poll is closed
Yes, he is.
No, he is not.