Speaking on NFL Up to the Minute on Thursday, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport said the Patriots actually made the Seattle Seahawks a better trade offer for Michael Bennett than the Philadelphia Eagles did.
So why won't we see a brothers Bennett tandem in New England? In short, the timing of the Patriots' offer derailed their chance.
"This was a complicated situation," Rapoport said. "First of all, the Bennett brothers were going nuts trying to get it somehow so they could play together on the Patriots. I know Martellus Bennett was talking about taking less salary, trying to stick around so the Patriots could then trade for his brother. ... Now, from what I am told, this was basically done, a done deal between the Seahawks and Eagles -- this was Tuesday morning. Then the Patriots came in late and said 'Well, maybe we'll give you this' -- a little bit better draft-pick compensation. The problem was the [Seahawks-Eagles] deal was basically already done. ... The Seahawks are honorable people and they did the deal that was basically consummated earlier."
In the end, the Eagles made an offer the Seahawks were pleased with, sending a fifth-round draft pick and wideout Marcus Johnson to Seattle for the veteran defensive end and a seventh-rounder. With the Eagles currently mired in salary-cap issues, it's highly unlikely Martellus will be landing in Philly with his brother, even at a drastic paycut.
What might have been will have to wait at least another year.