FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Veteran defensive end Michael Bennett said he deserved a new contract before he was traded from the Philadelphia Eagles to the New England Patriots in March. The Patriots obviously agreed.
The club has reworked the final two years of Bennett's contract, which previously had a base value of $15.7 million, to increase its base value to $16.75 million, sources tell ESPN's Field Yates.
The restructured deal includes a $4 million signing bonus, and Bennett will now earn a base salary of $3 million for 2019, with $1.5 million in per-game roster bonuses this season. In 2020, Bennett will earn a base salary of $7 million, with $1.25 million in per-game roster bonuses.
The restructured contract gives Bennett more security and financial upside, while the Patriots gain $700,000 in salary-cap space in 2019. The club currently has about $18 million in cap space.
In an interview with NFL Network in early March, when he was still with the Eagles, the 33-year-old Bennett noted that players are often surprised when they are brought up in trade talks. But he said he understood Philadelphia might trade him due to financial considerations.
"I'm not willing to take a pay cut. I actually want a pay raise at this point, and so whatever happens, just to know that whatever team I go to, I want to get paid more than I get paid right now," Bennett said.
Later in March, in an interview with the Patriots' official website, Bennett said: "I love being a Patriot because, obviously, it's all about winning. I think everything about the organization is about team-first. It's just about doing what you need to do to get to where we want to go as a group. I think I love that."