The Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles bolstered their formidable pass rush with another top-level defensive lineman.
The Eagles acquired three-time Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Bennett from the Seattle Seahawks on Wednesday, three people familiar with the trade told The Associated Press. The deal won’t be officially announced until the NFL’s league year opens next Wednesday. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to release the trade information.
Seattle gets wide receiver Marcus Johnson and a fifth-round pick, while Philadelphia also receives a seventh-round pick.
Bennett had 8 ½ sacks last season and 54 in his nine-year career. The 32-year-old Bennett has three years remaining on his contract, with a base salary of just $1.65 million in 2018. That number jumps to $6 million in 2019 and $7.5 million in 2020.
The Eagles will have to make roster moves to accommodate Bennett because they already are over the salary cap. Defensive end Vinny Curry is a likely candidate to be traded or released. Curry started 19 games this season, including playoffs, had three sacks and has three years left on a five-year, $47 million deal. Bennett joins a deep front unit that includes Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, Chris Long and Tim Jernigan. He probably won’t face double-teaming as much and could thrive in defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz’s aggressive system.
The outspoken Bennett has been heavily involved in social activism and fits in nicely in Philadelphia’s locker room with Long and safety Malcolm Jenkins, who are leaders in those areas.
Seattle could be moving on from another defensive star. Cornerback Richard Sherman also is on the trading block. Johnson has five catches for 45 yards in 10 career games.
Ogletree picked up
The Los Angeles Rams have agreed to trade linebacker Alec Ogletree to the New York Giants for two draft picks, a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity Wednesday because NFL trades can’t be announced until Wednesday. ESPN first reported the deal.
Los Angeles gets the Giants’ fourth-round and sixth-round picks in the 2018 draft. The NFC West champion Rams also will send a seventh-round pick in 2019 to the Giants along with Ogletree, their defensive captain and last season’s leading tackler.
Ogletree has spent his entire five-year NFL career with the Rams, who drafted him out of Georgia in the first round in 2013. He led their defense in tackles during four of his five seasons, only failing to do so in 2015 when he played in just four games due to a broken leg. He had 95 tackles and two sacks last season while moving into coordinator Wade Phillips’ 3-4 defensive scheme. He also provided leadership on the defense, both during the Rams’ turbulent relocation season from St. Louis and again last season, when they ended their 12-year playoff drought.
Ogletree signed a four-year, $42.7 million extension with the Rams just last October, getting $30 million in guaranteed money.
The Giants had two fourth-round picks in the upcoming draft, including a compensatory selection.
The Rams agreed last month to acquire cornerback Marcus Peters in a trade with Kansas City, and Los Angeles also used its franchise tag on safety Lamarcus Joyner. Those moves likely mean top cornerback Trumaine Johnson will leave as a free agent.
The trade of Ogletree seemingly improves the chances for the Rams to keep fellow veteran linebacker Mark Barron, who carries a $28 million salary cap hit over the next three seasons. He is due a $2 million roster bonus next week.
Tight end released
The New England Patriots released tight end Martellus Bennett on Wednesday.
Bennett was due a $2 million roster bonus next week. His release will save New England about $6 million in salary cap space.
Bennett joined New England in November of last season after being released by Green Bay for “failing to disclose a physical condition.”
He started seven games for the Packers in 2017 after signing a three-year, $21 million contract as a free agent. Following his release, Bennett appeared in two games for the Patriots before being placed on injured reserve with hamstring and shoulder issues.
In 2016, Bennett caught 55 passes for 701 yards and a career-high seven touchdowns on his way to earning a Super Bowl ring with the Patriots.
Rings for replacements
The Washington Redskins will present replacement players from 1987 with Super Bowl rings.
The team announced Wednesday it would honor the work of the replacement players who went 3-0 during the NFL strike. Washington went on to finish 11-4, win the NFC East and beat the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl.
Owner Dan Snyder says the replacement players’ “contributions are part of Redskins history and represent an integral reason why a Lombardi Trophy from the 1987 campaign resides in our facility.” The Virginia General Assembly passed a resolution Tuesday commending the replacement players on the 1987 team.
An exact date for the celebration of the replacement players’ contributions is yet to be announced.