Patriots defensive end Michael Bennett could possibly be on the trade block after a suspension.
Bennett was suspended for conduct detrimental to the team following a “disagreement” with the Patriots defensive line coach, Bret Bielema. While not many details are available, one can assume it was due to a loud argument of sorts.
This, and the fact that the Patriots need to clear cap space to sign Mohamed Sanu after trading for him, could lead to Bennett being traded. While he is a productive player, the Patriots do not need him to be successful.
Their defense is already one of the best in league history through seven games. And on the road to yet another Super Bowl appearance, distractions like this are not welcome under Belichick. Thus, a trade could kill two birds with one stone. Cap space would be freed up, and an example would be set for the rest of the team.
While most any team would love a player like Bennett, let’s look at the most likely candidates to do business for him.
Defensive end Akiem Hicks has it injured reserve. The Bears need a replacement for him, and quickly, as their defense is the only semblance of hope this team has to get their season back on track.
The biggest problem for trading for Bennett is his huge cap hit. The Bears are one of the few teams in the league that could take the hit and not even blink. They have plenty of room and are in need of Bennett’s services.
What the Bears do not have, though, is picks. A player or two would have to change hands in tandem with a couple of late-round selections to make this trade worth it for the Patriots. The entire NFL knows the Pats love their draft picks, especially their late-rounders, so it would really come down to the kind of players they could offer.
While the Patriots are fine on defense, they lack pass-catching, even after signing Sanu. What few offensive pieces the Bears have that they would be willing to part with is hard to say, though.
But, if these two teams can work out a deal, it would be mutually beneficial, as long as New England feels they get enough in return, as they do not have to part ways with Bennett.
The Lions need to get to the quarterback more. Period. End of story.
Yes, they hardly ever blitz. In fact, they have the lowest blitz percentage in the entire league. But a lot of this may be due to their lack of pass rushing talent. Some of their best defensive lineman are hurt, and Trey Flowers cannot do it all himself.
This trade would also make sense from a coaching standpoint. If Lions head coach Matt Patricia is trying to build a Patriot-esque culture in Detroit, why not take someone Belichick was not willing to work with and mold him into the player that Bill could not?
Again, both picks and players would have to change hands here. The Pats will not let him go for some middling picks the Lions would no doubt try to give them. But, in a better-than-nothing kind of scenario, the Patriots should reach out and see what the Lions would be willing to offer.
Bennett would make their pass rush better immediately. It could even go a long way in digging the Lions out of the basement in the toughest division in football. Not bad, for the right price.
The Texans traded away Jadeveon Clowney after he wanted out of the organization. Of course, they still have J.J. Watt at defensive end, but what about the other side of the line?
A tandem of Watt and Bennett would strike legitimate fear into opposing quarterbacks. Houston would immediately have one of the best defensive lines in the league.
The main problem here is that it would be a true luxury. After sending away a big haul for Laramie Tunsil, and not getting enough in return for sending Clowney to Seattle, the Texans should be wary of trades for the rest of the season.
If Houston could somehow send one of their better receivers to New England straight up for Bennett, then this trade would be mutually beneficial. It is worth noting, however, that these teams will likely not want to do business.
The Patriots and Texans see each other as some of their top competition in the AFC. Neither team would want to lose this trade, or inadvertently make the other one better on the way to the playoffs. If they can put that aside and take a risk, however, it could work.
Featured Image courtesy of Associated Press
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