Michael Bennett said he didn’t believe he’d be back in a Seattle Seahawks uniform next season. The 32-year-old veteran defensive knew football was a young man’s sport, and he also knew the Seahawks were considering pushing the reset button on the entire Legion of Boom.
He was right.
In an early offseason stunner, the Seahawks shipped him off in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles for a swap of seventh-round draft picks, Marcus Johnson and a fifth-rounder. It’s impossible to decide what’s more shocking at the moment: The reigning Super Bowl champions adding another dynamic pass rusher to an already deep defensive front or the fact they only gave up a fifth-round draft pick and one player to get him.
A defensive line that dominated the line of scrimmage and feasted on opposing quarterbacks all last season just added a three-time Pro Bowler to the mix. The mere idea of a front-seven anchored by Bennett, Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett is downright terrifying.
It’s a savvy move for the Eagles, particularly when they’re already coming off such a successful season. The tendency after a Super Bowl win is to become complacent and try to avoid messing up everything that’s in place, but the Eagles continue to be as aggressive with the personnel part as they have been with the offensive play-calling.
General manager Howie Roseman, along with head coach Doug Pederson, is focusing on building a dynasty. As New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has shown, success often comes from taking a more aggressive approach when putting together a roster, but it’s also a product of picking the right players for the right roles.
Bennett made the Pro Bowl last season, which means he still has plenty of gas left in the tank. The fact that multiple teams were reportedly vying for his surfaces shows how highly-regarded his talent is in the NFL, despite turning 33 years old later this year.
“I probably won’t be back next year,” Bennett told The News Tribune’s Gregg Bell last season. “Just seems like it’s a young man’s game. I can see them going younger, with younger players. That’s part of the game.”
Everything Bennett continues to do on the field proves to be the contrary of his comments. Even as he enters the old man years for an NFL player, he’s still blowing up offensive plays and slamming quarterbacks to the dirt, which is everything he needs to succeed in Philadelphia.