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NFL “looking into” Michael Bennett matter

NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks Team Media Availability

CHANDLER, AZ - JANUARY 29: Defensive end Michael Bennett #72 of the Seattle Seahawks speaks during a Super Bowl XLIX media availability at the Arizona Grand Hotel on January 29, 2015 in Chandler, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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Eagles defensive end Michael Bennett has been indicted for allegedly shoving an elderly woman at Super Bowl LI. The charges obviously subject Bennett to NFL discipline, regardless of whether he’s found legally responsible for the behavior.

“We are looking into the matter,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told PFT via email on Friday.

The Eagles separately issued a statement regarding the indictment: “We are aware of the situation involving Michael Bennett and are in the process of gathering more information. Because this is an ongoing legal matter, we will have no further comment at this time.”

It’s unclear whether the NFL knew about the situation before the indictment or, more importantly, whether Bennett was aware of the situation and failed to report it to his former team (the Seahawks) or the league. It’s also unclear whether the Seahawks were aware of the situation before trading Bennett to the Eagles, and whether the Eagles made the trade with awareness of the Bennett situation.

Regardless, any indictment on a felony is a serious matter. The NFL has some time to decide whether to place Bennett on paid leave, given that the offseason program doesn’t commence until next month. Still, a decision will need to be made sooner than later on whether he’ll be permitted to show up for work throughout the offseason and/or pending the outcome of the criminal action.