Photo by Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images(SEATTLE) — The Seattle Seahawks may be preparing to mark the end of their Legion of Boom era, as they traded away one member of their star defense on Wednesday, and reports indicate another could be on the way out next.
ESPN reports that defensive end Michael Bennett will be sent to the Philadelphia Eagles, along with a seventh-round draft pick. In return, Seattle will get a fifth-round draft pick and wide receiver Marcus Johnson.
The Atlanta Falcons, New England Patriots, Cleveland Browns and Tampa Bay Buccaneers were also in the running to acquire Bennett, ESPN says.
The teams can’t officially announce the trade until March 14, when the 2018 league year starts.
Bennett joins an organization that is supportive of players engaging in social and political advocacy. Bennett sat during the national anthem last season to protest social issues. Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins is a co-leader of the Players Coalition, which has worked with the league to encourage players to contribute to their local communities.
Eagles defensive end Chris Long and wide receiver Torrey Smith have also been among the most socially active players in the league.
Bennett, 33, registered 8.5 sacks last year, despite dealing with knee injuries and a torn plantar fascia in his foot.
Earlier in the day, Seahawks defensive back Jeremy Lane tweeted a vague statement that seemed to indicate cornerback Richard Sherman would not return to the team. While there is no indication that a trade involving Sherman is close, the NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that the cornerback was scheduled to meet with members of the team’s front office to discuss his future.
The Seahawks have featured one of the league’s best defenses for most of the past five years — winning Super Bowl XLVIII in February 2014. Over the last two years, however, Sherman and Bennett, as well as defensive standouts Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas, have dealt with injuries that have kept them off the field for extended periods.
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