Former Seattle Seahawks star defensive end Michael Bennett is once again on a tremendous defense, but his role with the New England Patriots has been minimal, and now he’ll have no part in New England’s next game.
The Patriots have suspended the veteran pass-rusher for an apparent disagreement between him and defensive line coach Bret Bielema last Friday.
“On Friday, I had a philosophical disagreement with my position coach that has led to my suspension,” Bennett told ESPN. “I apologize to my teammates for any distraction this may have caused.”
Now it’s no secret that Bennett has a big personality and can occasionally be a bit confrontational. What the disagreement with Bielema may have been about is unclear, but if you haven’t been watching New England much this season, the Pats have scarcely used Bennett.
After 37 snaps on opening night against the Pittsburgh Steelers, his snaps plummeted to 11 against the New York Giants. His snap count percentage hasn’t gone above 40% in any of New England’s last five games, which is by far the lowest usage rate of his entire career. Bennett has still recorded 2.5 sacks during his time in New England, albeit against the very sackable trio of Josh Rosen, Luke Falk, and Colt McCoy, none of whom is a current starter.
While Bennett is suspended for next week, Bill Belichick is hardly one to shy away from dismissal if a player acts out of line. We’ll soon find out whether Bennett’s one-year stint with the defending Super Bowl champions doesn’t even make it to the halfway mark.