Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett is being traded to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Bennett confirmed the move Wednesday, posting a thank you to Seahawks fans and his teammates on Instagram.
Dear Seattle, #12s, You have meant so much to me and my family! I thank you from the bottom of my heart. First and foremost I want to thank my wife and family, for always supporting me and helping guide me in every situation. My wife is the backbone of our family and I am truly blessed to have her and our three daughters. I of course want to thank Paul Allen, Pete Carroll, John Schneider, Peter McLoughlin, Erik Kennedy and Mo Kelly for bringing me to the Seahawks and giving me the opportunity to help bring Seattle their first Championship. My teammates. My brothers! More important than any championship or ring are the relationships I have made with the men in that locker room. We experienced marriages, births, deaths, and everything in between, and those are moments I will cherish forever. Last but certainly not least, to the City of Seattle, one of the best in the world. You fans are world class. The way you support us players on and off the field, helping to build bridges across our communities and understand what it means to give back and be community-minded. I am forever grateful for allowing me to grow and evolve in this time that I’ve had with you. I expanded my family in this city, I had one of my babies here. This truly was home for us and it’s been such an incredible five years. I want to assure you that the work we have started here with The Bennett Family Foundation will not stop. We are committed to this city, community and the schools we serve. It’s been a blessing to be able to meet so many great people through our work, and share our passion and dedication to better the World, and we look forward to meeting so many more of you. We are just getting started. We thank you, we love you, God Bless! Love, Black Santa
A post shared by Michael Bennett (@mosesbread72) on
"You fans are world class. The way you support us players on and off the field, helping to build bridges across our communities and understand what it means to give back and be community-minded. I am forever grateful for allowing me to grow and evolve in this time that I’ve had with you," Bennett wrote.
Bennett also tweeted a photo of himself wearing an Eagles uniform.
Multiple reports indicate the Seahawks are sending Bennett and a seventh-round draft pick to the Eagles for a fifth-round pick and wide receiver Marcus Johnson.
Johnson, an undrafted free agent in 2017, had five catches for 45 yards last season.
Bennett, 32, recorded 8 1/2 sacks for the Seahawks last season and has been a Pro Bowl selection in all of the past three years.
Bennett signed a three-year, $29.5 million contract extension before the 2017 season. That the Seahawks traded Bennett is not a surprise. It was believed he would be a salary cap casualty. The Seahawks will save $2.2 million against the cap in 2018, according to OverTheCap.com. That goes up to $5.3 million in savings in 2019 and $8.5 million in 2019.
Bennett joined the Seahawks as a free agent in 2013, helping Seattle to its first Super Bowl victory. Bennett's gift of gab along with his play and antics on the field made him a fan favorite. One of the indelible moments of his career was riding a police bicycle around CenturyLink Field after winning the 2014 NFC Championship Game.
Bennett also came with controversy. This past season, he sat on the bench for the National Anthem before almost every game, as part of the movement by many players citing racial and social injustice. His stand for equality ventured into new territory. He sponsored a rally for the family of Charleena Lyles, who was killed in a controversial police shooting in Seattle last year.
Bennett was also involved in a high-profile case of his own in Las Vegas in which he accused police of racially profiling him and using excessive force in an incident last summer after reports of a shooting at a casino. Las Vegas police denied the allegations, saying officers had "reasonable suspicion" to detain Bennett based on his actions as they were responding.
Bennett's new book "Things That Make White People Uncomfortable," is available next month.
Reports of the Bennett trade came out shortly after reports that Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman said goodbye to his teammates and that he will not be on the team.