THE indictment of DE Michael Bennett is something the Eagles need to deal with. If he were still on his Seattle contract, then I’d say this is all on him. I’d say he was owed nothing, since he’s done nothing for the team, nor his new teammates, nor the fans in the community.
However, when he got here, he quickly re-did his deal to free up cap space for the Eagles. Where I come from (Philadelphia), when someone does you a solid, you do them one back. (Maybe even two.) So it’s on the Eagles organization to not distance themselves from this (fucking mess), once Bennett turns himself in.
If the NFL is going to suspend Bennett for violation of Personal Conduct Policy, then the NFL should say so as soon as possible. That way Bennett can start serving it as soon as possible. There is no upside to fighting a suspension here. Even if Bennett is found ‘Not Guilty’, the public will demand a pound of flesh from him. Get it over and done with, so that football can be the focus again.
While he’s out however, poses an interesting question about how his base salary and amortized bonus is paid out. (By the way, this is the only place you’re going to even see this subject brought up. If you hear someone talking about it next week, you’ll know where they got it from.)
With a base salary of 1.65M$, Bennett’s base game-check is 103K. His 5M$ roster bonus (if broken up and distributed through each game-check), is 312,500$. That’s a weekly payout of 415,500$. Over six games, that’s 2,493,000$. That much money can have significant bearing on the salary cap for 2018.
Look, the 5M$ roster bonus is guaranteed to Bennett. The only question is how and when it gets to him. That being said, there is no reason that this incident (which the Eagles and the NFL are trusting wasn’t hidden for a year by Seattle), should negatively impact the Eagles.
The only fair move here, is for the NFL to grant the Eagles 2.5M$ in cap space from Bennett’s 2018 contract, if they suspend him. Of course, we’d still be without his expertise for 6 weeks or so, but there may be a solution on the horizon for that DE spot.
Last year, DE/OLB Connor Barwin played for the Rams for a base salary of 2M and a roster bonus of 1.5M, total hit 3.5M$. Barwin doesn’t fit as an every down 4-3 DE, but he can play that spot in a rotation. He also has some experience as a LB in coverage, so he offers a little (though very little) scheme versatility.
The question is, would Barwin come back to Philly for a shot at a ring, and to play in a scheme that doesn’t wear him down, but instead keeps him fresh? The answer is that according to a GQ article from March 5th, the Barwins were leaving Malibu California, to wait out free agency in here in Philadelphia. The entire world to choose from, and they come here.
There’s your answer.
In true Philly style, the idea isn’t to avoid a mess, but to make the best of one. To see the opportunity in the middle of a crisis. Not to create a mess, but to expertly manage one. As we’ve been doing since the days of the Lenape and the Swedes. We can MAKE this work.