Michael Bennett heard the reports that the Philadelphia Eagles are shopping him in potential trades.
Joining NFL Network’s Good Morning Football on Friday, the pass rusher understands it’s all part of the business.
“Well, I don’t know what’s happening with the Eagles,” he said. “Of course you always want to be with the team that you play with. At the same time, we all know it’s a business, and we want to be able to make money whenever you get the opportunities. And I feel like if you’re on the trading block, it’s just a part of the game.
“But at the same time, I still know that I’m one of the best players in the NFL. You look at statistically last year, quarterback hits, TFLs, and with how I approach the game I love football and whatever team I’m on, I’m going to take that same attitude and go out there and be a nasty player and try to dominate on the defensive line and be the best teammate and the best player that I can possibly be.”
In his first year with the Eagles after being traded by the Seattle Seahawks, Bennett tallied nine sacks and 34 tackles. Pro Football Focus charted Bennett with 22 QB hits and 44 pressures, including playoffs.
On Thursday, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that the Eagles are happy to keep Bennett, but with multiple pass rushers being taken off the market by the franchise tag, the Philly brass is shopping Bennett to see if they could get value in a trade.
Bennett is scheduled to make $7.2 million in 2019. The Eagles could wipe the entire salary off the books by moving on from the 33-year-old pass rusher. The Eagles currently sit at $17.8 million in salary cap space, per Over The Cap.
Bennett told GMFB he’s not interested in a pay cut, but rather is seeking a potential raise.
“You’re always caught off guard whenever your name is brought up in the trade blocks, or being traded, but you understand that people want to acquire your services and we’re in a tough situation as far as the salary cap,” Bennett said when asked how the trade discussions affected him this offseason. “But I’m not willing to take a pay cut. I actually want a pay raise at this point, and so whatever happens just to know that whatever team I go to I want to get paid more than I get paid right now.”
Given the current market for pass rushers, and Bennett’s still consistent production, he’s not crazy to think he’d generate plenty of interest around the league, and perhaps a bigger deal than he’s currently signed for this season with the Eagles.