New England Patriots

Dec 30, 2018; Landover, MD: Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Michael Bennett celebrates while leaving the field after the Eagles' game against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. The Eagles won 24-0. (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)

Dec 30, 2018; Landover, MD: Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Michael Bennett celebrates while leaving the field after the Eagles’ game against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. The Eagles won 24-0. (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)

By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

The Patriots have accomplished two worthwhile offseason goals with a single transaction.

As reported by ESPN’s Field Yates on Tuesday, the Patriots restructured defensive end Michael Bennett’s contract to give him a modest raise while simultaneously creating an additional $700,000 in salary cap space for 2019. The move gives Bennett the pay-bump he desired, and grants Bill Belichick more wiggle room to sign a free agent or make a trade.

It’s not a substantial raise on top of what Bennett could already earn. His base value is jumps to $16.75 million, up from $13.7 million. But the Patriots markedly increased his guaranteed money by converting $4 million into a signing bonus. Bennett also has a chance to earn $1 million in per-game roster bonuses in each of the next two seasons, plus another $1 million in incentives based on his sack total, per Mike Reiss.

The extra cap space is nice. But this was more about appeasing Bennett’s call for a pay-raise that he publicly made in an interview on “Good Morning Football” on the morning of the day the Patriots traded for him.

The restructure shows that the Patriots do value Bennett more than just as a one-year rental with a hard line on his paychecks. This good-faith adjustment makes their best defensive lineman and ostensible replacement for Trey Flowers happy, keeps him motivated to produce, and gives Belichick a bit of extra breathing room in the process.

Expectations should be high for Bennett as coached by Belichick. Despite being 33 years old and lasting just one season with the Eagles, Bennett had the fourth-most quarterback hits in the league (30) last season. As long as the Pats keep him focused and motivated, which his raise may have accomplished anyway, he should continue to be a highly disruptive pass rusher.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at matthew.dolloff@bbgi.com.