There is no questioning the impact Michael Bennett had on the Philadelphia Eagles defense last season. If you to rank the most important players on the Jim Schwartz unit, Bennett would easily be inside the top 3. With 9 sacks and 2 forced fumbles in 2018, Bennett was the fuel that kept the lamp burning in times of dire need, but now, he wants recognition for said performance.
Bennett went onto NFL Network’s ‘Good Morning Football’ and spoke openly about the bag he wishes to secure.
I just want to go on the record as saying he 100% deserves a pay rise…but then again…
so did Jason Kelce.
so did Lane Johnson.
So did Malcolm Jenkins.
so did just about every player who has actually taken a paycut or restructure contracts within the last three years.
The truth is, this is an Eagles team with limited cap room (even after Roseman’s escapades, they’re clearly moving that money for a reason) but above all, a team-first organization. The reason that players are more than happy to restructure deals and take paycuts is because they know it’s to help the team. For the betterment of those around them.
What sticks out like a sore thumb is that Bennett acknowledges the cap situation and still demands a pay-rise. That’s a level of assertion that hasn’t really been seen since the Fletcher Cox holdout in 2016.
As of right now, Bennett is scheduled to make more than names like:
It’s not like Bennett has it bad, either. Making a base salary of $6.2M is understandably a little lower than he deserves, but it’s what he agreed to upon signing in the first place. Bennett also acknowledged the idea of a trade and stated clearly that wherever he goes, he would still demand that pay rise.
This is just going to cause a headache for a team who just extended Brandon Graham and have some flexibility at DE once more. There are a flurry of talented pass rushing prospects and a free agency market that may, just may, contain a ‘placeholder’ until that talent develops into a starter.
If Bennett wants one last payday given his age, he won’t get that in Philadelphia and even if he deserves that payrise more than most, the way Bennett has gone about pounding the table will not sit well with a team who place an emphasis on a selfless culture.
Do not be surprised to see the Eagles move on from Michael Bennett.