What Does Michael Bennett Bring to the Eagles Besides a Concerning Lack of Shoulder Pads?

Photo Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Expect news of the Eagles parting with Vinny Curry to drop at any moment now.

He was so much improved against the run this year, a Super Bowl champion and legit contributor to a historic Eagles season.

We all knew that his cap hit, relative to overall performance, was going to make him an offseason casualty. Brandon Graham is locked in on the other side of the line and Derek Barnett is waiting in the wings– a guy who I thought would come straight into the starting lineup after Curry was moved.

Instead, Howie Roseman did it again, bringing in Pro Bowl defensive end* Michael Bennett, according to Adam Schefter and about 25 other people.

That means your defensive line now looks like this:

  • Brandon Graham
  • Fletcher Cox
  • Tim Jernigan
  • Derek Barnett
  • Michael Bennett
  • Chris Long
  • (Beau Allen is a free agent)

Looks like….  a pretty nasty group if you ask me.

Anyway, the reason for the asterisk above is that Bennett plays some interior line, too. Not only is he a superb edge rusher, but he can move inside on obvious passing downs, allowing the Eagles to run a configuration that looks like this:

Barnett —-  Cox —— Bennett —— Graham

You saw the Birds do a bit of that this year, when Chris Long would line up at d-end and Graham would play tackle. You probably don’t remember this play from the awful Oakland game, but the Eagles “vertically challenged” and drew a holding call on a third and ten:

Wanna see another example where this worked a lot better?

Here:

Heyo!

That’s the kind of stuff you can do with Bennett. You can play him as an end in your base package, then move him around in sub packages for various situations. In that sense, he can address the Allen departure as well as the pending Curry move, which allows Barnett to increase his role on the team (420 snaps last year) without suffering stunted growth.

Bennett is 32, so there’s certainly some wear on the tires, but you wouldn’t know it by performance. He’s only missed five games in his last six seasons and continues to put up stellar numbers:

Mmmm… 23.5 sacks in three years. That sounds good. I think I’ll have that.

Bennett gets to the quarterback and is big enough to do a bit of run stuffing while being able to line up pretty much anywhere on the line.

On this play, he starts on the interior in a stunt move and gets to Aaron Rodgers:

And on the outside he’s got the strength to bull rush offensive tackles:

https://twitter.com/DLineVids/status/862414377584009216

He really is a perfect fit for a fluid Jim Schwartz defense that rotates defensive linemen and moves guys around.

As far as the salary goes, Bennett is due the following:

  • 2018: $1.65m
  • 2019: $6m
  • 2020: $7.5m

I’m not a cap wizard, but it looks like he has a $4m roster bonus for this season, so you’re looking at him counting $5.7m against the cap.. I think. You would still save a bit in the exchange with Curry while eating $6m dead cap for his release.

Obviously you can then try to restructure next year based on how he does in 2018, but it looks like Howie is just going for it here, trying to keep the foot down on the throat of 31 other NFL teams.

In that vein of thought, consider this:

Bennett has had some “character stuff” pop up in the past, depending on how you define “character stuff.” There an incident this season where he torpedoed an offensive lineman during a victory formation:

He was also involved in a summer incident where he claimed he was racially profiled by Las Vegas police. That was disputed by the department after an investigation was completed.

You can read up on that yourself.

Bennett also raised a black power fist during a sack celebration and stands on the Colin Kaepernick side of the national anthem issue, something that shouldn’t really bother anybody considering that Malcolm Jenkins exhibits similar thoughts and actions. Jeffrey Lurie and the Eagles have been very open to expression on that matter, and it certainly did not affect anything that happened on the field this season. The Eagles seem to have a very functional locker room and a stable culture down at NovaCare, so I think any concerns about Bennett as a person have to be considered within that framework.

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15 Responses

  1. FYI, not sure why no one is talking about this, but if they keep Curry and cut or trade post-June 1, then they save $9 million with $2 million in dead money instead of saving only $5 million with $6 million in dead money pre-June 1. So, makes a lot of sense to wait until June 1 rather than anything happening soon…

    1. They can designate him as a post June 1st cut even if they cut him before that (which they will unless he’s traded). But doing so adds $4M to the 2019 cap. This isn’t what they want because they want to be able to sign Wentz to a huge extension and not have to cut good players because of $4M in dead cap charge from a post June 1st cut designation.

  2. Another THUG in Philly. More anthem protests. How do these law breaking, ungrateful jerks keep getting paid millions? Might as well sign Kapernick.

    1. Don’t let them hear you say that, then the next thing ya know Foles is gone and K-fro will be the backup…I used to listen in on people, so I know how easily this could get to the wrong ears.

  3. I hate Bennett’s shoulder pads because he tells blatant lies and exaggerates and then his teammates have to answer questions about that instead of focusing on their next game. Hopefully he tones down the drama. At least he’s only a one year rental & is cap friendly

  4. Kevin Love and Tyler Trumbauer are no longer associated with the site. What happened? They couldn’t offer anything to the BOURBON conversation in the Slack chat? They were unwilling to pack knockoff t-shirts?

    Is this what Kyle meant when he claimed he would “kick everyone’s ass?”

    1. Kyle wishes he was Clay Travis, but he isn’t half the writer Travis is, his wife is a sloppy do nothing deadbeat while Travis is married to a former Titans Cheerleader. Travis has an extremely successful blog while Kyle has to resort to selling knock off t-shirts and his daddy’s money to keep this eye-sore of a blog afloat. And most importantly, Travis is a damn fine handsome man and Kyle looks like Tom Hanks in “Philadelphia”

      1. I absolutely loved it when Travis triggered that bimbo on CNN when he said he loves boobs. Her panties got in such a bunch over that, haha…..it was faux liberal outrage but it was still great to hear

      2. Sounds like you are the only one obsessed with Klay Travis. He just some hacky news guy who says shocking things to get his name in the news. No different than Skip Bayless or Stephen A. Smith. He is just the Stephen a. Smith for angry white dudes. And stop yanking it to his wife.

    2. Kevin Love is now the Managing Editor over at Liberal Ballers, taking over for the last guy Kyle shit-canned. Crossing Broad is their minor league affiliate I guess.

  5. Who cares. The birds got one more dindu to run around on the field against another city’s dindus. Why would I watch a guy who has a racial grievance against me and my race. This is the guy who lied and said the racist cops detained him cause he was black and then he had nothing to say after the video footage proved otherwise

  6. Of course all of the (((writers))) for this site love having another anti white Wakandan on the team

  7. Will any of the liberal, white guilted, cuckold sports talk show host Italians bring up this knuckle draggers race baiting comments and lies? Nah… they’ll probably up their wives then go back to slurping the african tree hockey association

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