As free agency rapidly approaches, Howie Roseman has already pulled off a major move.
On Wednesday, the Eagles acquired veteran defensive end Michael Bennett in a trade with the Seattle Seahawks, a league source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia. Bennett then did some confirming of his own.
In the trade, the Eagles get Bennett and a seventh-round pick, while the Eagles give up a fifth-rounder and wide receiver Marcus Johnson, per ESPN.
The trade won't become official until the new league year begins on March 14.
Bennett, 32, has played nine seasons in the NFL and is coming off a year in which he picked up 8½ sacks. He'll turn 33 in November.
Because of Vinny Curry's expensive contract, the future of the veteran Eagle has been in question over the last few weeks (more on him here). That future in Philadelphia looks much cloudier after the acquisition of Bennett.
The Eagles obviously aren't anywhere near finished making moves. Before getting Bennett, they were set to be around $10 million over the salary cap. Bennett comes with three years left on his current contract. This year's base salary is just $1.65 million, but he also has a roster bonus of $4 million due to him, according to OverTheCap; both amounts will count against the Eagles' cap. The base salaries of his final two years of the contract are $6 million and $7.5 million.
Basically, the Eagles are getting an upgrade in Bennett over Curry and it will cost them less. But there's still work to be done.
Even if Curry is on his way out, as expected, Bennett will still help make the Eagles' defensive line group one of the most formidable in the entire league. The Eagles will add Bennett to a group that includes Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Tim Jernigan, Derek Barnett and Chris Long (see player reaction).
Since he was reinstated to his role of power, Roseman has stressed the importance of building along the team's offensive and defensive lines. The defensive line is extremely important to the way Jim Schwartz runs his defense. While Curry is likely gone and Beau Allen is likely to leave in free agency, the Eagles' defensive line is extremely impressive.
Bennett has been a Pro Bowler in each of his last three seasons. During his nine-year career, he has 54 career sacks but has just one season with double-digit sacks. That came in 2015. Still, he's a really good player and his versatility is something the Eagles will like a lot and utilize.
While Bennett's 8½ sacks in 2017 weren't eye-popping, he was extremely disruptive. He had 16 QB hits and 44 QB hurries in 2017, according to ProFootballFocus. To put that into perspective, Graham had four QB hits and 45 QB hurries and was the Eagles' best pass-rushing defensive end. Now the two will line up together with Cox and Jernigan. Not bad.