To hear Michael Bennett tell it, he and the New England Patriots just weren't a good fit.
His former head coach, Bill Belichick, seems to agree.
Belichick was asked Friday what led to the Patriots' decision to trade Bennett, their three-time Pro Bowler at defensive end, to the Dallas Cowboys for a conditional seventh-round pick in 2021.
Here was his response:
"There are a lot of factors. Multiple considerations on this. But in the end, I think Mike's a good player.
"We brought him here, I thought he'd help us, but we've only got a certain number -- there are things we've got to work with and work around, and that's what we had to do."
Belichick clearly thought Bennett could contribute in New England, giving up a fifth-round draft pick in 2020 to wrest him from the Philadelphia Eagles and playing him on 55 percent of the Patriots' defensive snaps in their season opener.
Belichick apparently didn't like what he saw, though; the 33-year-old had his playing time reduced in every week going forward and was suspended for New England's Week 7 game against the New York Jets after getting into a "philosophical disagreement" with his position coach.
In Belichick's view, Bennett simply was the odd man in the Patriots' 3-4 scheme that's relied more on rookie Chase Winovich and defensive ends John Simon and Deatrich Wise Jr.
So, did Bennett approach Belichick and ask for a trade out of town? If he did, Belichick's lips are sealed.
"Yeah, I don't think that was ever part of the conversation," Belichick added.
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