Michael Bennett's days in Seattle are over.
The Seattle Seahawks are trading defensive end Michael Bennett and a seventh-round draft pick to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for a fifth-round pick and wide receiver Marcus Johnson, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Bennett has made the Pro Bowl each of the past three seasons but believed he played his last game for Seattle after the team's 26-24 regular season loss to the Arizona Cardinals on New Year's Eve.
“I probably won’t be back next year," he said, according to The News Tribune. "Just seems like it’s a young man’s game. I can see them going younger, with younger players. That’s part of the game.”
Bennett was due a $3 million roster bonus if he remained with the team by March 18. he had three years remaining on his deal with Seattle after inking a $29.5 million extension through the 2020 season in December 2016. He was expected to earn $8.4 million in 2018.
He finished 2017 with 8.5 sacks.
The Atlanta Falcons had previously been reported as interested in Bennett.
The Bennett trade comes after it was reported that four-time Pro Bowl cornerback Richard Sherman will meet with Seahawks management to discuss his future with the team, according to The MMQB's Albert Breer. The Seahawks have undergone significant personnel re-shuffling after finishing 9-7 and missing the playoffs for the first time since 2011. Seattle will have two new coordinators, as Brian Schottenheimer replaces Darrell Bevell as offensive coordinator and Ken Norton Jr. takes over the defensive coordinator position from Kris Richard.
Bennett posted a thank you message on Instagram to the Seahawks and the Seattle fans for all they did for him while there.
Dear Seattle, #12s, You have meant so much to me and my family! I thank you from the bottom of my heart. First and foremost I want to thank my wife and family, for always supporting me and helping guide me in every situation. My wife is the backbone of our family and I am truly blessed to have her and our three daughters. I of course want to thank Paul Allen, Pete Carroll, John Schneider, Peter McLoughlin, Erik Kennedy and Mo Kelly for bringing me to the Seahawks and giving me the opportunity to help bring Seattle their first Championship. My teammates. My brothers! More important than any championship or ring are the relationships I have made with the men in that locker room. We experienced marriages, births, deaths, and everything in between, and those are moments I will cherish forever. Last but certainly not least, to the City of Seattle, one of the best in the world. You fans are world class. The way you support us players on and off the field, helping to build bridges across our communities and understand what it means to give back and be community-minded. I am forever grateful for allowing me to grow and evolve in this time that I’ve had with you. I expanded my family in this city, I had one of my babies here. This truly was home for us and it’s been such an incredible five years. I want to assure you that the work we have started here with The Bennett Family Foundation will not stop. We are committed to this city, community and the schools we serve. It’s been a blessing to be able to meet so many great people through our work, and share our passion and dedication to better the World, and we look forward to meeting so many more of you. We are just getting started. We thank you, we love you, God Bless! Love, Black Santa
Bennett spent the last five years of his career with the Seahawks after starting his career playing four years with the Buccaneers.