Wednesday’s NFL: Seahawks deal DE Bennett to Eagles
The Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles bolstered their formidable pass rush with another top-level lineman.
The Eagles acquired three-time Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Bennett from the Seattle Seahawks on Wednesday, three people familiar with the trade told the Associated Press. The deal won’t be officially announced until the NFL’s league year opens next Wednesday. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to release the trade information.
Seattle gets wide receiver Marcus Johnson and a fifth-round pick, while Philadelphia also receives a seventh-round pick.
Bennett had 81/2 sacks last season and 54 in his nine-year career. The 32-year-old Bennett has three years remaining on his contract, with a base salary of just $1.65 million in 2018. That number jumps to $6 million in 2019 and $7.5 million in 2020.
The Eagles will have to make roster moves to accommodate Bennett because they already are over the salary cap. Defensive end Vinny Curry is a likely candidate to be traded or released. Curry started 19 games this season, including playoffs, had three sacks and has three years left on a five-year, $47 million deal.
Bennett made the Pro Bowl each of the last three years, buthas battled a succession of injuries the past few seasons, playing through plantar fascia and knee injuries in 2017 and missing five games due to arthroscopic knee surgery, and it’s thought the team was worried his play had begun to decline.
Bennett has three years remaining on his contract, and the Seahawks will save $2.2 million against the salary cap in 2018 with his departure.
Johnson, in his second year out of Texas, caught five passes last season for the Eagles. He did not play in the playoffs as the Eagles went on to win the Super Bowl.
He ran a reported 4.42 coming out of college and the Seahawks were undoubtedly looking to add a speedy receiver with the possibility Paul Richardson — who will be a free agent beginning March 14 — may not return.
The outspoken Bennett has been heavily involved in social activism and fits in nicely in Philadelphia’s locker room with lineman Chris Long and safety Malcolm Jenkins, who are leaders in those areas.
Seattle could be moving on from another defensive star. Cornerback Richard Sherman also is on the trading block.
Patricia adds to staff
The Detroit Lions have hired Steve Gregory as a defensive assistant coach.
The Lions announced the move Wednesday. Gregory began his coaching career in 2015 as a special teams quality control coach at Syracuse, where he played wide receiver and cornerback from 2002-05. Gregory played eight seasons as a defensive back in the NFL for the San Diego Chargers (2006-11) and New England Patriots (2012-13).
New Detroit coach Matt Patricia was on New England’s staff when Gregory played for the Patriots.
Rams-Giants make swap
The Los Angeles Rams have agreed to trade linebacker Alec Ogletree to the New York Giants for two draft picks, a person with knowledge of the deal told the Associated Press.
Los Angeles gets the Giants’ fourth-round and sixth-round picks in the 2018 draft. The NFC West champion Rams also will send a seventh-round pick in 2019 to the Giants along with Ogletree, their defensive captain and last season’s leading tackler.
Jones to settle fees for $2M
Jerry Jones has agreed to pay the NFL more than $2 million in legal fees resulting from two disputes the Dallas Cowboys’ owner had with the league, a person with direct knowledge of the settlement tells the Associated Press.
The amount to be paid was resolved Wednesday.
Commissioner Roger Goodell held an appeal hearing with Jones on Monday. That came a few days after Goodell assessed the financial penalties for Jones’ lawsuit to overturn the suspension of Cowboys star running back Ezekiel Elliott, and for a suit Jones threatened to stop Goodell’s newly approved contract.
The Patriots released tight end Martellus Bennett on Wednesday. Bennett was due a $2 million roster bonus next week. His release will save New England about $6 million in salary cap space.
... The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have exercised one-year team options on tackle Demar Dotson, safety Chris Conte and defensive back Josh Robinson for next season.