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Patriots restructure Michael Bennett’s contract to create additional cap space

Before Bennett has even played a single snap for New England, his deal was already slightly adjusted.

New York Giants v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

When the New England Patriots acquired Michael Bennett via trade — the Patriots sent a fifth-rounder to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for Bennett and a seventh-round selection — they inherited the veteran defensive lineman’s existing contract: the two remaining years of a free agency deal Bennett had originally signed with the Seattle Seahawks before moving to Philadelphia, worth a combined $15.2 million.

Now, the Patriots have altered the deal a bit and in the process gave the 33-year-old a pay raise: according to ESPN’s Field Yates, the two sides have agreed to a reworked contract that now has a base value of $16.75 million and includes a $4.0 million signing bonus. While further details have yet to be reported, we already know that the structure of the new deal will free up $700,000 in salary cap space for the Patriots this year.

Bennett wanted a pay raise before getting traded from Philadelphia to New England, and now he got one. More than anything, however, the move itself reflects the long-term commitment the Patriots seem to have to Bennett when it comes to the veteran defender as an integral member of their rotation on the edge — especially with Trey Flowers leaving the club as a free agent to join the Detroit Lions.

With New England freeing up additional cap space in 2019, the team now has $18.25 million available at the moment, according to the Boston Sports Journal’s Miguel Benzan.