Never understood the move in the first place.
Aging player on the decline with a big mouth, Michael Bennett didn’t seem a fit at all with the Eagles, never mind a good one.
But they acquired him anyway in a trade made official last week.
Now this – an indictment for an alleged crime that took place 14 months ago that could cost the veteran defensive end a fine, a jail sentence and, frankly, his career, especially since he kept the NFL, his current team, the Eagles, and his former one, Seattle, in the dark about everything.
Not for nothing, but don’t really care about the particulars of the incident or the repercussions that could come from it.
What does raise an eyebrow for me is that someone, or some grouping, from the team’s personnel braintrust – GM Howie Roseman, talent guru Joe Douglas, head coach Doug Pederson, etc. – felt it necessary to bring in Bennett and any baggage he may have.
Didn’t seem like the type of thing a reigning Super Bowl champ would do. Came across as more of a panic move.
Guys, the blowhard stuff on the steps of the Art Museum was fine. A little chest-thumping, curse-hurling BS to celebrate a championship … didn’t hurt no one.
But bringing in a player to, let’s face it, make that a full-time thing? Not the smartest of moves.
To me, Bennett’s game never came close to matching his mouth. Oh, he can perform. He’s no slouch on the field. But he’s an overachiever who somehow has parlayed a tiresome anti-establishment act into more respect for what he does between the lines than it deserves.
A step up from Vinny Curry, who got away via free agency? Or Chris Long, who left his future in doubt with suggestions of retirement or wanting more snaps? Maybe, maybe not.
Curry, in his career, has played a fraction of the snaps that Bennett has. They’re not really comparable, due to circumstance or scheme far more than actual ability.
Long is part-timer whose impact play-per-snap dwarfs what Bennett produces.
To me, Bennett is a classic example of an athlete who became overrated because so many were concerned about him being underrated they incessantly trumpeted his deeds, often when never merited.
He’s been a Pro Bowler the last three seasons. Why? Dude has just 23.5 sacks in that time as the primary pass rusher for Seattle’s defense. His tackle total of 126 in that span is OK, sure, but he has just 2 forced fumbles.
In short, he’s not exactly a game-changer, and certainly not worthy of the hullabaloo that followed his joining Philly.
Toss in his self-absorbed ’tude and it makes little sense. Heck, it makes no sense that the Eagles even wanted him before the indictment popped up.
Perception can be a very distorted beast, and it seems to have skewed things for many when it comes to Bennett. Put it this way, ask most Eagles fans, or most NFL fans, whom they think is a better, more impactful player between Bennett and, say, Washington’s Ryan Kerrigan, odds are they will say the former, not the latter.
Despite overwhelming evidence (Kerrigan, a fellow three-time Pro Bowler and defensive end, despite being listed a linebacker, has 33.5 sacks, 7 forced fumbles and an interception return for a TD, against the Birds, no less, since 2015) to the contrary.
Bennett, through counsel, has stated he will turn himself into police, and the spin doctors will champion that, too.
But, for me, that doesn’t matter. The Eagles getting him does; just not a smart move.