If you wondered whether the Philadelphia Eagles were going to be as aggressive this year in building their roster as they were in their Super Bowl Championship season, you got your answer yesterday. The Eagles have acquired Seattle Seahawks veteran Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Bennett in a trade. The Birds will be sending a fifth round pick and young wide receiver Marcus Johnson to the Seahawks in return for Bennett and a seventh round pick.
Adding Bennett to the Eagles defensive line will allow the Birds to upgrade their pass rush in the upcoming season. For the past five seasons, Bennett has been one of the most effective pass rushers in the NFL. He helped the Seahawks win one Super Bowl title, go to another and become a perennial playoff team during his time with the squad.
He has been successful as both an outside pass rusher coming off the corner, as well as a inside pass rusher at the defensive tackle spot on third downs. Bennett probably wears the smallest set of shoulder pads in the NFL because they allow him to give opposing offensive linemen a small target to block. He’s known for his tremendous explosiveness off the line of scrimmage at the snap of the football.
Now become of this move, on third downs opposing offensive lines must find a way to block Fletcher Cox, Bennett, Brandon Graham and last year’s number one draft pick, Derek Barnett. There will need to be some major shuffling of personnel with Vinny Curry, Chris Long still currently on the roster and the Birds needing to shave at least $10 million dollars of salary off the roster by March 14. Long will likely return, but Curry will need to take a pay cut in order to remain. Bottom line, the Eagles will need to make some major moves on the roster in the next week before the 2018 NFL season officially starts. Somebody get Eagles GM Howie Roseman and his calculator on the phone. We need him to work his magic again.
Of course Bennett is the key to the deal, but Johnson has talent and showed some promise in the 2017 season. He struggled catching the football and was inconsistent in his route running this past year, but the youngster has been timed at 4.36 in the forty-yard dash. I expect him to get playing time in the upcoming season and wouldn’t be surprised if he fights his way into the starting lineup in Seattle. He’s got two things that make him attractive, speed and youth, he’s only 23 years old.