Eagles set to send DE Bennett to Patriots for draft picks
Played one season in Philadelphia
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.
Michael Bennett had nine sacks for the Eagles in 2018, but he probably wou;dn’t have been a starter in Philadelphia.