Friday 23rd March, 2018
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NFL notebook: Seahawks agree to trade DE Bennett to Eagles

Sports Xchange - Thursday 8th March, 2018

The Philadelphia Eagles will acquire defensive end Michael Bennett and a seventh-round draft pick from the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for wide receiver Marcus Johnson and a fifth-round pick, multiple outlets reported on Wednesday.

The move cannot become official until the new league year begins on March 14.

Bennett was owed a $3-million roster bonus had he been with the Seahawks on March 18. By trading him, the Seahawks will save $2.2 million against the salary cap.

The 32-year-old Bennett has battled nagging injuries, including foot and knee issues, despite making the Pro Bowl the past three seasons.

Bennett has 54 career sacks, including 8.5 sacks and 24 quarterback hits last season.

Johnson, 23, had five receptions for 45 yards in 10 games last season for the Eagles.

--The Los Angeles Rams agreed to trade linebacker Alec Ogletree and a 2019 seventh-round draft pick to the New York Giants for the Giants' 2018 fourth- and sixth-round draft picks, multiple media outlets reported.

The fourth-round pick the Rams will receive is the Giants' second selection of that round and is a compensatory pick.

Ogletree signed a four-year, $42 million contract extension with the Rams in October, with $33 million paid out in the first three years of the deal.

--Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman told teammates goodbye this week, saying he does not expect to be with the Seahawks in 2018, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported.

Nothing is official, and Sherman texted ESPN's Josina Anderson on Wednesday, telling her that he has not "been told anything."

However, Sherman was scheduled to meet with coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider on Wednesday afternoon, presumably to talk about his future with the team, NFL Media's Tom Pelissero reported.

--The New England Patriots announced that they released tight end Martellus Bennett and wide receiver/kick returner Bernard Reedy.

Martellus Bennett's contract called for a $2-million roster bonus on the third day of the 2018 league year, which begins March 14.

Bennett, 31, was claimed by the Patriots on Nov. 9, 2017, after he was waived by Green Bay Packers. He played only 24 snaps in two games with the Patriots before going on injured reserve because of a shoulder injury. He had six catches for 53 yards for New England after having 24 receptions for 233 yards in seven games, all as a starter, for the Packers.

--Free agent defensive tackle Chris Baker signed a one-year contract with the Cincinnati Bengals for a little more than $3 million, a source told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.

The 30-year-old Baker is coming off a disappointing season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, making only 33 tackles in 15 games after signing a three-year, $15.75 million contract last offseason.

Baker's effort was questioned in Tampa and he was released by the Buccaneers on Feb. 18.

--Following a hearing this week with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has agreed to reimburse the league for more than $2 million in legal fees, multiple media outlets reported.

The league had demanded that Jones reimburse it for legal fees the NFL incurred during the litigation involved in the suspension of Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott.

--ESPN and Fox Sports are so interested in getting Peyton Manning to call their respective Monday Night Football and Thursday Night Football games that they're willing to pay him $10 million annually, The Sporting News reported, citing a source.

By comparison, former ESPN Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden received $6.5 million per year as of 2015, according to author Jim Miller.

For his part, Manning has not declared that he wants to return to television -- outside of his numerous commercials -- but that hasn't stopped the talk outside of the broadcast booth.

--Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown restructured his contract in a bid to help the team create more salary cap space as it works on a long-term extension for running back Le'Veon Bell.

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Brown is designating money that would've been owed as part of his base salary to a bonus instead. The MMQB's Albert Breer reported Brown's contract restructuring will free up $9.7 million in salary cap space for the Steelers.

--Defensive end George Johnson, who was set to become a free agent next week, has re-signed with the New Orleans Saints with a one-year deal, acording to ESPN's Field Yates.

The 30-year-old Johnson recorded 2.5 sacks in his first two games with New Orleans and made big plays in the postseason. He finished 2017 with five tackles and one pass deflection in three games with the Saints.

--The Tampa Bay Buccaneers exercised one-year options for the 2018 season on offensive tackle Demar Dotson, safety Chris Conte and special teams captain Josh Robinson, the team announced.

The trio would have become unrestricted free agents on March 14 had the team not picked up the extra years.

Dotson started all 11 games he played last season before a torn posterior cruciate ligament in his knee ended his campaign.

--Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey helped a man in trouble during a recent hiking trip.

While with family and friends in Castle Rock, Colo., McCaffrey witnessed Dan Smoker Sr., 72, fall approximately 20 feet onto a rock while hiking with his 13-year-old grandson, Eli.

McCaffrey immediately called 911 and then rushed with his party to help the elder Smoker, who later was determined to have sustained a broken femur, pelvis and neck, nine fractured ribs and had bleeding on the brain.

"I credit them with saving my dad's life," Smoker's son, Dan Smoker, told the team's website on Tuesday.

--Buffalo Bills wide receiver Jordan Matthews is pointing the finger at his former team for "two really bad diagnoses."

Matthews said during an interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio that the diagnoses by Philadelphia Eagles' doctors caused lingering knee and ankle damage that limited his production once he was traded to the Bills.

The 25-year-old missed a month in the middle of last season due to thumb surgery. His campaign came to a premature end in December because of the continued knee issues, he claims.

--Former Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing was scheduled to visit the Seattle Seahawks on Wednesday, according to Ian Rapaport of the NFL Network.

Cushing, who was released by the Texans last month, played for Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll at USC.

--Los Angeles Chargers defensive tackle Corey Liuget visited Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Tuesday and donated $10,000 to the scholarship fund set up in Aaron Feis' honor.

Feis stepped into the line of fire in a bid to save students when a gunman with a semi-automatic rifle entered the Parkland (Fla.) school on Feb. 14. Feis, an assistant coach and security guard, was shot and killed as he shielded two students.

--The Philadelphia Eagles officially named Mike Groh as their offensive coordinator and Duce Staley as an assistant head coach, the team announced.

Groh replaces Frank Reich after the latter became the head coach for the Indianapolis Colts.

--The Arizona Cardinals re-signed long snapper Aaron Brewer to a four-year contract, the team announced.

Brewer was due to become a free agent had he not signed.

Brewer played in 21 games with Arizona in the last two seasons after joining the Cardinals early in the 2016 season.

--The Detroit Lions hired Steve Gregory as a defensive assistant, the team announced.

New Lions head coach Matt Patricia has a history with Gregory. Gregory played eight years in the NFL, including two years as a starting safety with the New England Patriots when Patricia was the Patriots' defensive coordinator.

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