It’s no secret veteran defensive lineman Michael Bennett is unhappy with his situation on the New England Patriots. That was made more evident when he was suspended for one game by the team for conduct detrimental after he had a disagreement with his position coach.
Already the subject of various trade rumors, the Patriots may be looking to offload Bennett ahead of the upcoming trade deadline. Bennett, who was traded to New England in the offseason, hasn’t gotten the playing time he anticipated since joining the Patriots.
Additionally, a trade would give the Patriots nearly $3 million more in salary cap space if they were to engineer one this week.
There are various teams that would take the chance on adding a former Pro Bowler and veteran on the defensive line.
Follow the Heavy on Patriots Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors, and content!
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
This one might be the most suitable for all parties involved. Bennett previously played for the Buccaneers and while Tampa already has several veteran defensive ends on the roster, they may want to take a flyer on Bennett who could help sure up their pass rush.
Bennett’s cap hit this season wouldn’t be totally harmful to Tampa, a team that has space and resources to sign him. And with Bennett being inked for next year too and Ndamukong Suh a free agent, it would guarantee Tampa a veteran defensive end on the roster in 2020.
In exchange, the Patriots could get exactly what they’re looking for: tight end O.J. Howard. New England is still looking to bolster their tight end corps as evident by Tuesday’s two signings. And with Howard, the Patriots get a young tight end willing to put in the work to prove he can be among the NFL’s best.
This might seem cruel for Bennett but it’s extremely beneficial for the Patriots. The NFC East is littered with teams that struggle defensively, especially the Redskins. But with a fairly manageable next few games, adding another strong pass-rushing option like Bennett could help revive the season.
Bennett would help anchor a defensive line that has could use a little more depth up front, meanwhile, the Patriots could offload his hefty contract for next year.
In return, New England gets what they’ve been looking for: left tack Trent Williams. With a cap hit of only $3.5 million in 2019 he would fit within New England’s budget following the trade of Bennett and would help solidify the left side of the Patriots offensive line.
With the news of Akiem Hicks going to injured reserve, the Bears will need to find a suitable replacement for him on their pass rush.
Chicago has over $18 million in cap space so affording Bennett both this year and next year would not be an issue. But what do the Bears have to offer the Patriots? The Bears only have six draft picks in 2020 while the Patriots have a surplus.
One possible outcome could be the Bears attempting to get a mid-round pick along with Bennett in exchange for either one of Chicago’s second-round selections or a player. The Patriots may still be looking to upgrade their tight end unit and the Bears have five on their active roster.