Ea­gles set to send DE Ben­nett to Pa­tri­ots for draft picks

Played one sea­son in Phil­a­del­phia

The Buffalo News - - NFL - NEWS WIRE SER­VICES

PHIL­A­DEL­PHIA – The Phil­a­del­phia Ea­gles are trad­ing Michael Ben­nett to the New Eng­land Pa­tri­ots, NFL sources said Fri­day.

Draft com­pen­sa­tion is still be­ing ironed out, but the Ea­gles are ex­pected to re­ceive a 2020 fifth-round draft pick from New Eng­land for Ben­nett and a 2020 sev­enth-round se­lec­tion, ac­cord­ing to sources.

The Ea­gles started ac­tively shop­ping the 33-year-old de­fen­sive end last week after they re-signed Bran­don Gra­ham. Ben­nett had pre­vi­ously stated his de­sire to re­main a starter, and with for­mer first-round pick Derek Bar­nett and Gra­ham re­turn­ing, he was un­likely to get that op­por­tu­nity with the Ea­gles this sea­son.

Ben­nett’s con­tract – he has two years left with $7.2 mil­lion and $8 mil­lion cap num­bers – was seem­ingly rea­son­able con­sid­er­ing his pro­duc­tion last sea­son. He recorded nine sacks, 15 tack­les for loss, and 30 quar­ter­back hits dur­ing the reg­u­lar sea­son, and a sack, three tack­les for loss, and three hits in two post­sea­son games.

He also played through a foot in­jury that mostly kept him from prac­tic­ing over the last month.

After Bar­nett was placed on sea­son-end­ing in­jured re­serve with a torn ro­ta­tor cuff, Ben­nett’s play­ing time in­creased along with his pro­duc­tion. He’ll turn 34 in Novem­ber, and Gra­ham will turn 31 in May, but the Ea­gles will pay the lat­ter $13 mil­lion this sea­son vs. Ben­nett’s $6.2 mil­lion and his 2018 pass-rush­ing num­bers (four sacks, nine tack­les for loss and 11 hits) paled in com­par­i­son.

Bar­nett had a solid rookie sea­son. He notched five sacks and nine tack­les for loss and played through a sports her­nia. He got off a solid start in his se­cond sea­son, but in­jured his shoul­der and tried to play through it be­fore his sea­son was shut down.

The Ea­gles ac­quired Ben­nett last sea­son in a trade with the Sea­hawks. They parted with a fifth-round pick and wide re­ceiver Mar­cus John­son and re­ceived Ben­nett and a sev­en­thround se­lec­tion.

Mi­ami lets Amen­dola go

Vet­eran wide re­ceiver Danny Amen­dola was re­leased Fri­day by the Mi­ami Dol­phins, ac­cord­ing to mul­ti­ple re­ports.

The Dol­phins signed Amen­dola, a two-time Su­per Bowl cham­pion with the New Eng­land Pa­tri­ots, to a twoyear, $12 mil­lion con­tract a year ago. By re­leas­ing him, the Dol­phins will free up $6 mil­lion in salary cap money.

In his one sea­son in Mi­ami, the 33-year-old Amen­dola started 15 games but caught just 59 passes for 575 yards, an av­er­age of just 38.3 yards per game. He caught one touch­down pass.

Un­drafted out of Texas Tech, Amen­dola played for the St. Louis Rams from 2009-12, then with the Pa­tri­ots from 2013-17. He has 485 ca­reer re­cep­tions for 4,684 yards and 20 re­ceiv­ing scores.

Ver­non go­ing to Browns

The Giants are trad­ing de­fen­sive end Olivier Ver­non and a fourthround pick (132nd over­all) in April’s draft to the Cleve­land Browns for of­fen­sive guard Kevin Zeitler and a fifth-rounder (155th over­all), ac­cord­ing to sources.

The clubs agreed to the trade on Fri­day and will make it of­fi­cial when the new league year opens on Wed­nes­day at 4 p.m.

Zeitler, who turned 29 on Fri­day, will be­come the Giants’ new start­ing right guard. He was one of the NFL’s top guards last sea­son, al­low­ing only 11 pass pres­sures com­pared to 39 sur­ren­dered by all Giants right guards, per Pro Foot­ball Fo­cus.

Zeitler has played all 16 games in four straight sea­sons, and the for­mer Bengals first-round pick out of Wis­con­sin (2012, 27th over­all) is en­ter­ing his eighth pro year.

Po­lian leav­ing ESPN

For­mer Buf­falo Bills Gen­eral Man­ager Bill Po­lian, who has served as an ESPN an­a­lyst since 2012, an­nounced he is leav­ing the net­work.

“After talk­ing it over with my fam­ily, we de­cided now is the right time to fin­ish this chap­ter in my ca­reer,” Po­lian said in a press re­lease.

Po­lian is cur­rently work­ing in the fledg­ling Al­liance of Amer­i­can Foot­ball, which be­gan its first sea­son the week­end after the Su­per Bowl. He is a co-founder of the league with Char­lie Eber­sol.

Getty Im­ages

Michael Ben­nett had nine sacks for the Ea­gles in 2018, but he prob­a­bly wou;dn’t have been a starter in Phil­a­del­phia.

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