Today, the Patriots struck another move, trading for Martellus Bennett of the Chicago Bears. Bennett carries a $5.185 million cap hit for the seaon in the final year of his contract. The Patriots traded their 4th rounder, pick #127, for Bennett and a 6th rounder, pick #204.
As far as the picks go, I love the trade. Pats may have lost their 1st rounder, but they’re stocked with picks when it comes to the actual number of selections. They have 2 seconds, 2 thirds, now 5 sixths, and 2 7ths. Belichick will probably trade one of those second or third rounders for multiple picks anyway. Getting Bennett is more than worth moving down 77 picks for a more than capable 2nd tight end.
The problem is the salary. Bennett adds $5.185 million to the cap, which cancels out almost all of the $5.4M boost that they got from the Chandler Jones – Jon Cooper swap. The Bears were going to cut Bennett if they didn’t find a trade partner, which makes me think that he wouldn’t have commanded much more than $5.185M on the open market. The Pats had roughly $17-18 million in cap space before the Bennetet move, and giving $5+ of it to Bennett isn’t exactly a bargain.
All in all, though, I like this trade for the Pats. The passing offense needed some minor tweaks, and swapping Brandon LaFell and Scott Chander to Chris Hogan and Martellus Bennett does the job, and it the difference more than makes up for the ~$5M that the swaps cost the Pats.