Eagles personnel guru Howie Roseman set the NFL world on fire yet again after acquiring 3 time Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Bennett from the Seattle Seahawks for next to nothing. Bennett has been one of the most disruptive edge players of the last decade and will be joining what will be the most talented defensive line rotation he’s ever been a part of. The fact that the Eagles made this move could signal a few things for this team.
1) Vinny Curry is on the move: Earlier in the week reports came out that Curry was expected to be released due to his overinflated contract and the Eagles’ salary cap woes. Then a contradicting report came out that they were working on a contract restructure in an attempt to keep him. With the addition of Bennett they can now attempt to move Curry for a draft pick without harming their rotation that keeps their front four fresh. Bennett is a more explosive player and is due less money this year than Curry, although he’s 3 years older than Curry is. Bennett is more of a rental player than a long term center piece.
2) The Eagles won’t draft a pass rusher in the first round: Philadelphia has a tendency to build both of their lines through the draft, with the addition of Bennett they’re more likely to not take an end with their 1st round pick unless an unbelievable talent falls to them. This will allow them to take a player at a position of need such as linebacker or offensive/defensive tackle if there’s a fit at pick 32. Luckily for the Eagles this draft class is deep at the linebacker position should that be the direction they decide to go.
3) Roseman & Co. are utilizing Wentz’ rookie contract as a championship window: Philadelphia is lucky enough to have their franchise quarterback in Carson Wentz, the front office is taking advantage of his cheap rookie deal and trying to win now before they have to give him a HUGE payday. This is why they’re going with the approach of trading late round picks for veteran players such as Jay Ajayi and Michael Bennett. Expect Roseman to continue to be aggressive in adding players to the roster who will make an immediate impact in hopes of making another Super Bowl run.
I personally love this move, we’ve added an explosive veteran to the best defensive line in football. This will allow Graham, Long, Bennett, and Barnett to all remain fresh and effective late in games. It also adds another end that we can slide inside during obvious passing situations in the NASCAR package much like Brandon Graham does.
I’ve seen where some people are skeptical due to an off season incident Bennett was involved in and the rumors that he’s a difficult locker room presence. My outlook on that is that everyone makes mistakes and we need to give him a fair chance. Fans also need to have faith in the culture that Roseman, Lurie, and Pederson have created. The Eagles have a strong locker room full of veteran leaders that will help keep Bennett in line. Players like Zach Ertz and Lane Johnson have already been outward about their support of the move. I can’t wait for the 2018 season to kick off so we can watch our line kill opposing quarterbacks. Fly Eagles Fly!